School Notes for August 17
by Staff Writer
DAVIDSON – New Charlotte-Mecklenburg school superintendent Heath Morrison has a specific plan he wants to follow.
Part of that plan includes watching and listening to his new school system during his first few months on the job.
“I’m in a listening and learning mode, finding out what we’re doing well and where we can do a better job,” Morrison told the Davidson town board Aug. 14. “Pretty soon I’m going to be asking this community to rally behind our children.”
In his first trip to Davidson, Morrison told the town board that he’ll be in that listening mode until November.
At that time, about 100 official days into the school year, he’ll take action.
“I think that’s an appropriate time,” Morrison said. “That’s when we’ll talk about some of the strategic leverage points that we need to hit to move our entire school district forward.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools has a graduation rate of 75 percent, better than the national average of 71.2, but the former Washoe County Schools (Nev.) superintendent thinks he can push it much higher.
“That means we’re only graduating three out of every four students, and that’s not good enough,” Morrison said. “Ninety-percent is in our strategic plan, but I want to challenge our school district to do more than that.”
Morrison also said he has to maximize the 180 days that children are in school, noting that some countries have children in school for up to 240 days per year, making the job market that much more competitive for graduates.
Davidson College issue temporary ban on Chick-fil-A
Davidson College is one of the first colleges in the nation to ban Chick-fil-A due to the company’s position on homosexuality.
The temporary ban will be reconsidered after students return to class Aug. 27. The Davidson College Union Board often buys food from Chick-fil-A for the college’s After Midnight events – once-a-month late night social events for students.
Union Board President Adriana Nassar released the follow statement to the Davidson community to explain its decision.
“We reached out to the Union Board members to begin initial conversations, but because the board operates on consensus decision-making, a final decision is being put off until we can have face to face conversations and gather more student input. Until a final decision is made, alternative options will be served at After Midnight and other Union Board events. The Davidson College Union board is firmly committed to building an inclusive community that serves each member of our student body.”
Ben Wiley, a Davidson College student, gathered more than 500 signatures on a petition objecting to the college’s business with the company. Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy came under fire this summer after stating in an interview that he opposes gay marriage.
LNC students participate in student council workshop
Three Lake Norman Charter students attended the 53rd North Carolina Association of Student Councils (NCASC) Summer Leadership Workshop this summer.
Rising senior Megan Somloi and juniors Truman Spittle and Olivia Seksinsky spent the week of July 9 at Mars Hill College near Asheville with other student council leaders from throughout the state.
The 250 participating students were divided into groups, simulating student councils at their schools. Students planned activities and completed projects while participating in teambuilding workshops.
Cannon School presents lecture on childrearing
Author and psychologist Robert Evans will visit Concord-based Cannon School to lead a parenting lecture.
Evans is the director of the Human Relations Service in Wellesley, Mass. and author of three books, including “Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with The Crisis in Childrearing.”
He will offer parents advice about how they can help their children develop key life skills, such as character, good judgment and resiliency. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in Taylor Hall on the school’s campus, 5801 Poplar Tent Road, Concord.
The free public event is the first presentation in the school’s Maria DeHaas Lecture series. Those who want to attend should register online at www.cannonschool.org/evans.
– Compiled by Tori Hamby and Josh Carpenter