Local News

Progress of Henderson Students Unknown

Posted December 19, 1997

— Good evening and thanks for joining us. The traditional school year is almost half way over, and some Vance County students don't know what kind of grades they're making. Neither does the school. One class of third graders at Clarke Street Elementary has not received a report card all year.

"Where are the grades?" you might ask. They're in a teacher's grade book who no longer works at the school. The students started the year with a substitute, had a permanent teacher for a while, then got another substitute. The permanent teacher left just before report cards were handed out and that made it tough to grade students.

As students at Clark Street elementary school get ready for a two week holiday break, some parents don't feel like celebrating. Vearnette Yellock believes all children should have a report card because parents need to know whether their child is improving or deteriorating.

Some third graders started school here without a permanent teacher. One was hired, but abruptly quit, taking her grade book with her. So when it was time for report cards in October, some third grade students did not get one.

Superintendent Wayne Adcock says no report cards were given because administrators didn't feel comfortable with the teacher leaving, and then giving out letter grades.

Adcock says the school's principal did arrange for the teacher's assistant to meet with parents.

"We made a skills checklist and showed them what the kids had been doing, their progress and what we needed to do in the next nine weeks," Adcock explains.

Parent Elizabeth Turner says conferences aren't enough. Complicating things, Clark Street Elementary is one of the state's low performing schools. Third grade students who are now on their third teacher, will have to take end-of-grade tests this Spring.

School officials say it's ideal for there to be one teacher in a classroom all year, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

The district has hired a permanent teacher for the third-grade class. She starts January 5th. The superintendent says the real issue here is how hard it is to attract and keep teachers.


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