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op frI am writing this in my classroom on a Friday evening in the hours of quiet before the kickoff for our homecoming ball game. My students are all gone for the weekend, but it is still early enough that my classroom remains lit by the clear autumn sunshine. I look out at 28 desks that hold the adult sized bodies of the 63 students I teach in senior English: 24 in first period, 25 in fourth period, and 14 in AP English Literature. In my first- and fourth-period classes, the place is pretty packed when everyone is present, so I am grateful I do not as of yet have the full allotment of 29 students that N.C. law allows. My county is fighting hard to keep class size within reason and to maintain teaching staff, although current legislation is telling us that staff reduction is only a matter of time.

coverAll Nicole Smith could do last week was try to keep the doors open.

Either the shutdown of the federal government would end, or North Carolina officials would tell her they don’t have the million of dollars necessary to cover childcare costs for needy infants and toddlers in the state, some of whom spend their days at her small center in Waynesville.

fr stateboardSchools are bracing for a precipitous drop in student test scores coming down the pike next month — the result of a new, more rigorous curriculum and testing standards implemented statewide last year.

By Dawn Gilchrist-Young

I’m writing this because I teach three sections of senior English at Swain High School, where I’ve taught English in grades nine through 12 for almost 15 years. However, I can only say I’ve loved what I do for 14 of those years, and that’s because my first year in public education left me neither time nor energy to ponder the luxury of how I felt about my work. Having no time to reflect is typical for a first-year public school teacher. 

fr sportsfieldsA proposal to charge youth sports clubs and outside groups rental fees to use school property is being studied by the Haywood County School Board.

fr clothesSylvia Russell remembers how crucial it was to wear the “right” clothes to school, how the “right” outfit could win the acceptance of peers.

To deal with a gaping budget shortfall, Macon County Schools might raid the local salary bonus it historically awards its teachers. 

The number of high school students failing random drug tests in Haywood County has remained constant since the school system put a drug testing policy in place seven years ago.

Haywood County Schools has announced a handful of promotions among principals and assistant principals ahead of the upcoming school year.

Macon County Schools may be in store for some noticeable changes come the start of school this fall.

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