SCS board reviews disability report

Board members for Sampson County Schools review an annual report about students with disabilities.

Ann Johnson, director of exceptional children for Sampson County Schools, makes a presentation to the board of education.

Sampson County Schools did not meet its target for graduating students with disabilities, but officials are looking towards improving in the future.

During a work session for the board of education, Ann Johnson, director of exceptional children for Sampson County Schools, presented the 2013-2014 annual report.

“There were some expectations that we met and there were some that we did not meet,” Johnson said.

According to data, the district’s rate of students in individualized education programs (IEP) graduating from high school was four points behind the state’s average of 62.3 percent. In North Carolina, the target is 80 percent.

“A lot of students with disabilities often take more than four years to graduate,” Johnson said while discussing the data and cohort graduation years.

A positive result of the data was the district’s dropout rate. The district met expectations with less than 5 percent of students with disabilities dropping out. Under the student participation and performance category, another positive result for all grade levels was reading and math. When it came to meeting statewide proficiency rates, the number fluctuated when it came to comparisons with averages across North Carolina.

Third-grade reading and math proficiency rates were above the state’s average.

“We have to give our third grade teachers and students some major props because they are rocking it out,” Johnson said.

Some of the other indicators discussed included suspension and expulsion rates and least restrictive environments for students, which was based on the amount of time spent inside regular classrooms. The district met all of the preschool outcomes which involved social-emotional skills, skills and appropriate behaviors.

“It shows that or EC (Exceptional Children) teachers are rocking it out,” Johnson said. “They are doing exceptionally well.”

Data from each individual building was not available for officials and is only provided to the district as a whole.

Board awaiting budget figures

With the budget process under way for state and local officials, Sampson County School officials plan to present a 2015-2016 budget in the near future.

Finance Director Dale McLamb presented a brief budget update which included a projection of $172,00 less than what school officials requested from Sampson County officials. The district is expected to receive more than $900 per student or a total of more than $8 million. According to the county’s budget, the increase is $489,210.

“We’re at $880 now,” he said. “It’s a significant increase, but it’s not quite what we asked for.”

McLamb said North Carolina legislators are currently working on an educational budget.

“When I get all these number together, we’ll put together a budget and come before the board and present that,” McLamb said.

During the meeting, McLamb presented a continuing budget resolution which included a total of $14.6 million. The amounts included the state public school fund, local current expense, federal funds and child nutrition. The revenues are estimated to be available for the fiscal period beginning July 1, 2015 and ending Aug. 31, 2015. It expected to be signed during the board’s next meeting, which is set for June 30.