On a related note, the board also heard about a new school improvement tool, NCStar. The web-based tool has 105 success indicators, out of which schools are required to have 12 active. Once the school improvement plan is entered, school personnel are notified if a deadline passes, if information needs updating, or if a meeting is missed.
“There are active coaches from the state overseeing the whole thing, so this isn’t an improvement plan that’s just going to sit on a shelf,” said Elizabethtown Middle School Principal Elizabeth Cole, whose school has already been implementing the tool. “The system itself holds you accountable.”
The five schools designated as low performing in Bladen County will be required to implement the tool, and all other schools will begin using it next year.
“This looks like a very promising thing,” said chairman Wilbur Smith.