10/02/05 — School system required to offer tutoring

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School system required to offer tutoring

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 2, 2005 2:09 AM

Wayne County Public Schools is among 42 school systems across North Carolina that have been identified for Title I District Improvement, under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The school system will be required to perform several corrective actions. At the same time, No Child Left Behind is also requiring the school system to offer supplemental tutoring services for students in seven local schools that have been identified for improvement.

The federal law requires each school district to meet target goals during the school year. If all of the target goals are not met for two consecutive years in a subject area, such as reading or math, the school district is identified as being in Title I District Improvement.

In 2004-05, Wayne County schools met 46 of its 59 goals. As a result, several corrective measures are being taken, officials said.

Title I schools identified for improvement and eligible for supplemental educational services include Carver Elementary, Brogden Middle, Goldsboro Middle, Mount Olive Middle, Grantham, North Drive Elementary, and Dillard Middle.

Parents of students in those schools were to be notified of the situation and actions taken to improve student performance. Letters were expected to be sent home Friday, said Dr. Willette Wooten, director of federal programs for the school system.

Other steps being taken include revising the school system's Title I Plan with plans to help low-achieving children meet the academic standards. At least 10 percent of each school's Title I funds will also be designated for professional development needs of the instructional staff by addressing academic achievement problems that caused the district to be identified for improvement.

The free tutoring services in math, reading and language arts will be made available for students who need them. Parents are to receive a list of providers and services to pick from, or can contact the school for help in finding the best match for the individual child.

A tutoring and parent release form must be completed and returned to the school, with assignments made based on availability of the provider. Transportation must be provided by the parent.

Academics Plus of Goldsboro is among the 47 providers chosen within the state this year. Company president Ken Benton said the application process through the Education Industry Association was rigorous, but acceptance means the company has the potential to eventually offer its services nationwide.

Benton and wife Marilyn, who serves as director of Academics Plus, are former educators who began the local educational and assessment center 15 years ago.

"We're very proud that we're going to be given the opportunity to be able to expand into Wayne County and be part of helping the children in this area," Benton said. "We feel like we know the needs and we supply the answer to some of these needs."

Benton said he has already attended several vendor fairs in other counties, allowing him to meet with parents and educators to talk about tutoring services that will be beneficial to students. He said he also attended one open house at a local school to develop strategies for individualized programs.

"Everyone's goal is for children to improve but for every vendor and school, there is a different approach or technique," Mrs. Benton said. "The parent can look to what will meet their child's need."

Questions about tutoring services should be directed to Dr. Wooten at 731-5900.