The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education met Thursday to discuss filling the board’s vacant seat, construction updates and school discipline in the district.
Filling the vacancy
A seat on the board has been vacant since Margaret Samuels, former board chairperson, resigned in March. At the board's April 4 meeting, it decided to ask a former board member to finish her term. If none are interested, the board decided it would begin an application and interview process.
At Thursday’s meeting, Chairperson Joal Broun announced that Jean Hamilton, a former board member, had expressed a willingness to serve again. Hamilton served on the school board twice, from 2005-09 and from 2010-11.
Hamilton is a graduate of UNC and works as a therapist.
The board will vote on appointing Hamilton at its May 2 meeting. If confirmed, Hamilton will serve out the rest of Samuels' term, which was set to expire this year.
$1.2 million renovations
The board approved a request for nearly $1.2 million to replace the outdated heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in Frank Porter Graham Elementary School.
Patrick Abele, assistant superintendent for support services, and Bill Mullin, executive director of school facilities, reported that most of the equipment was installed in 1989 and has reached the end of its useful life. The HVAC system in the school’s media and intermediate buildings had been identified as needing replacement in the district’s 2015 facilities assessment.
The board approved the district’s request to fund this renovation by using $940,000 from the major facility renovations fund and $270,000 of the district fund balance.
School discipline update
Charlos Banks, senior executive director of student services, updated the board and district administration on the district’s current school discipline data. Banks presented the data from discipline reports filed from August to March of the 2018-19 school year. This data will serve as a baseline for comparison of future school years’ data.
As part of the district’s strategic plan, it recognizes it must work to decrease disproportionate disciplinary practices between white students and students of color. This year’s data showed out-of-school suspensions disproportionately affected students of color.
Banks said the district is working to assess and refine its disciplinary practices. The hope is to create and implement a “code that reflects (the district’s) core practices, reduce educational disparities, and facilitate equal access to a quality education and opportunities for all students.”
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