The Elizabeth City School System is P...

The Elizabeth City School System is Pathetic!!!

Posted in the Elizabeth City Forum

“Let them hate, Drive More Mike”

Since: May 08

Waltrip fans! An Army of One!

#1 Jan 28, 2009
The school system in Elizabeth City is pathetic! Coming from Chesapeake, Va we expected some declines in the quality of education. But in comparison, the Hampton Roads area is far superior in every single educational aspect!

Since enrolling our son at Pasquotank Middle School we have had numerous problems with class enrollments, questionable assignments, receiving grades from teachers or receiving explanations and feedback from teachers when asked. On numerous calls to the school,*IF* someone finally answers we are told how busy they are and they will get back to us. Instead we have to constantly contact them and literally bug them to make any progress! By the time they make any progress, the semester is already half over and it no longer makes sense to change the incorrect classes my son already attends. Unfortunately, the very next semester only brings more of the same problems. Instead of correcting the mistakes of the previous semester, they repeat the same class assignment errors. The school has a very lackadaisical attitude toward correcting problems. You almost get a "your child is not special" attitude from them when you convey your concerns. Or a "Uh-oh, we got one of THOSE type of parents on our hands" attitude. They seem shocked and offended when a parent is actually concerned with their education.

But this is only a slight part of the long list of the problems. The other part of it is the constant "School opening 1-2 hrs late" for typical NORMAL winter conditions! Any case of LIGHT Fog gets an automatic 1 - 2 hrs late every time and we get light to moderate fog often. But severe fog happens only occasionally. I wouldn't mind the delays for severe fog, but when you can see a mile down the road before it looks a little bit hazy, the kids need to go to school! The total amount of hours already missed this year is approaching a couple of complete school days! Is the message here "You don't have to do anything if the sky isn't sunny?". Please prepare kids for real life!

We had a light DUSTING of snow back in November where no snow stuck to the streets and was completely melted on the grass by 11AM. Even though the local weather forecasts indicated this would be all the area would receive, they still closed the schools ALL DAY!

A week ago the school decided to open 2 hrs late with a Sunday evening phone recorded message announcement over "POSSIBLE" poor conditions the following morning that turned out to be nothing!

And this morning was just one more example! The local news announced Elizabeth City Schools would open 1 hour late due to FOG. Once again, it was a very light fog with visibility barely limited. The bus-driver doesn't understand what 1 hr late means and showed up 40 minutes late instead or 20 minutes early! My understandably unprepared son ran out the door to catch the bus only to see the bus driver pull away without him! We decided to wait and see if he would return at the normal time but he never did!

My advice, If you are considering moving here but have concerns over the education your child may receive, I would say you owe it to your kids NOT to move here! Your kids deserve MUCH better! Look elsewhere! We are considering options ourselves such as private schools or even moving away!

Certainly you always want to error on the side of safety when it comes to your children. But I've never seen a school system so eager to open late or close completely over slightly less than normal conditions. If other nearby cities were doing the same, you could understand. But no, those children in neighboring cities actually go to school!
Carolyn R

Fayetteville, NC

#2 Jan 28, 2009
The fog can be severe on one end of the county when it is almost nonexistent on the other end. You cannot provide school for some and not others without creating a disadvantage to some students. The decision is made on the area with the worst conditions.
Neighboring school districts do close for fog based on the conditions in their locations.
And just so you will know, there is no Pasquotank Middle School.
I find it astonishing you don't know the name of your child's school.

“Let them hate, Drive More Mike”

Since: May 08

Waltrip fans! An Army of One!

#3 Jan 29, 2009
You're right, in my haste I posted Pasquotank Middle School instead of Elizabeth City Middle School. I live in Pasquotank county and not Elizabeth City. It was an honest mistake, I can assure you of that. It's funny how you made that seem like I was an awful parent and could poo-poo away all my concerns because I didn't post the correct school name.

I made mention to much more than just mere fog as part of the problems which is the only area you seemed to have addressed, I mean besides taking a personal pot-shot at me. What excuse do you have for all the other inefficiencies in the school? I could forgive them for delaying school 1-2 hrs over ever so slightly less than perfect weather conditions all the time if I just knew my child was getting a good education by teachers and faculty members that care. My son is in 7th grade and comes home and tells me he feels like he is in 5th. Our calls to correct incorrect class placements, obtain answers for grades and general questions go often unanswered unless we keep at it with numerous calls. Promising corrections and callbacks and getting neither over and over is inexcusable.

You cannot excuse all this away by the fact I didn't post the correct school name. And I really don't care for your insinuation that I'm a lousy parent because of it either.
Carolyn R

Fayetteville, NC

#4 Jan 29, 2009
I commented on the fog situation because that was the only one I had accurate information on to offer.

I was not considering your parenting value in my comment. What struck me was you were speaking so strongly against a school system that you appeared to be so relatively new to that you had not become used to the name of the school yet.
John D

Coats, NC

#5 Jan 30, 2009
Valid issues here. I too am annoyed at some of the practices, quality of education, apathy of the faculty etc.... I absolutely hate going to pick up my daughters from an event/practice that was scheduled to end at 5:30 and they are not released until 5:50. Like parents have no other commitments, schedules or life that they can happily sit outside the school every day for 20 minutes waiting on their children. But I digress, if we have concerns we need to collectively address them and take them forward to the school administration and even the school board if necessary. Not beat each other up in a public forum such as this. Does anyone know if this school district has a Parent Teacher Association (PTA)? I have never heard of one for this area. If not, there is nothing to stop us (the parents) from organizing one. Individually I am sure the faculty views us as "one of those parents" that constantly complain. Collectively and united our voice will have to be heard!
Parent

Johnson City, TN

#6 Feb 3, 2009
I don't know what school your child attends, but it's not Pasquotank Middle School. There is no such thing. If you were so involved in your son's education, I would think you would know the name of the school he attends. It's gong to be either River Road Middle School or Elizabeth City Middle School.
gowaltrip wrote:
The school system in Elizabeth City is pathetic! Coming from Chesapeake, Va we expected some declines in the quality of education. But in comparison, the Hampton Roads area is far superior in every single educational aspect!
Since enrolling our son at Pasquotank Middle School we have had numerous problems with class enrollments, questionable assignments, receiving grades from teachers or receiving explanations and feedback from teachers when asked. On numerous calls to the school,*IF* someone finally answers we are told how busy they are and they will get back to us. Instead we have to constantly contact them and literally bug them to make any progress! By the time they make any progress, the semester is already half over and it no longer makes sense to change the incorrect classes my son already attends. Unfortunately, the very next semester only brings more of the same problems. Instead of correcting the mistakes of the previous semester, they repeat the same class assignment errors. The school has a very lackadaisical attitude toward correcting problems. You almost get a "your child is not special" attitude from them when you convey your concerns. Or a "Uh-oh, we got one of THOSE type of parents on our hands" attitude. They seem shocked and offended when a parent is actually concerned with their education.
But this is only a slight part of the long list of the problems. The other part of it is the constant "School opening 1-2 hrs late" for typical NORMAL winter conditions! Any case of LIGHT Fog gets an automatic 1 - 2 hrs late every time and we get light to moderate fog often. But severe fog happens only occasionally. I wouldn't mind the delays for severe fog, but when you can see a mile down the road before it looks a little bit hazy, the kids need to go to school! The total amount of hours already missed this year is approaching a couple of complete school days! Is the message here "You don't have to do anything if the sky isn't sunny?". Please prepare kids for real life!
We had a light DUSTING of snow back in November where no snow stuck to the streets and was completely melted on the grass by 11AM. Even though the local weather forecasts indicated this would be all the area would receive, they still closed the schools ALL DAY!
A week ago the school decided to open 2 hrs late with a Sunday evening phone recorded message announcement over "POSSIBLE" poor conditions the following morning that turned out to be nothing!
And this morning was just one more example! The local news announced Elizabeth City Schools would open 1 hour late due to FOG. Once again, it was a very light fog with visibility barely limited. The bus-driver doesn't understand what 1 hr late means and showed up 40 minutes late instead or 20 minutes early! My understandably unprepared son ran out the door to catch the bus only to see the bus driver pull away without him! We decided to wait and see if he would return at the normal time but he never did!
My advice, If you are considering moving here but have concerns over the education your child may receive, I would say you owe it to your kids NOT to move here! Your kids deserve MUCH better! Look elsewhere! We are considering options ourselves such as private schools or even moving away!
Certainly you always want to error on the side of safety when it comes to your children. But I've never seen a school system so eager to open late or close completely over slightly less than normal conditions. If other nearby cities were doing the same, you could understand. But no, those children in neighboring cities actually go to school!

“Let them hate, Drive More Mike”

Since: May 08

Waltrip fans! An Army of One!

#7 Feb 3, 2009
It seems the only issue most want to jump on is the fact I got the name of the school wrong even though I freely admitted in my 2nd response I named it incorrectly in haste since I live in Pasquotank County. In addition it seems as though parents should be more concerned with the academic focus of the school rather than the typo in my first post. Besides that, Elizabeth City Middle School does sit directly behind Pasquotank High School.

I would like to present parents who are considering moving here but are concerned about their child's education with the following letter I received in my mail yesterday. I will quote completely from the letter starting with the text entered below starting now:

Public Schools of North Carolina
State Board of Education Howard N. Lee, Chairman
Department of Public Instruction June St. Clair Atkinson, Ed. D., State Superintendent

WWW. NCPUBLICSCHOOLS.ORG

January 28, 2009

Dear Parent or Guardian:

You are receiving this letter because it is a requirement under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal law to inform you when a school district enters into or continues in Title I District Improvement. No action is required on your part. Pasquotank County Schools continues in Title I District Improvement because it did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets in reading in its elementary, middle and high schools for at least two years in a row. More information on Title I District Improvement is available on the Web at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/nclb/district/ .
Pasquotank County Schools will continue to identify steps to improve student achievement by revising our District Improvement plan. This plan describes what the school district will do to help low-achieving children meet challenging academic achievement standards. In revising the plan, Pasquotank County Schools will consult with parents, school staff and others. If you would like to participate in the revision process, please contact Linda Ward at (three, three, five dash two, nine, eight, one)
North Carolina's State Education Agency, the Department of Public Instruction, will assist the district in developing and implementing strategies to improve student achievement. Pasquotank County Schools will be in District Improvement until it meets all target goals in grades 3 through 5 OR 6 through 8 OR high school for two consecutive years and continue to meet math targets.

If you have any questions about this letter, please call the Acting Superintendent's Office at (three, three, five dash two, nine, eight, one) or go to the Web at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/nclb/ .
Sincerely,

Rebecca Garland

Associate Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer
North Carolina Department of Intrusion

Mr. Linwood Williams
Acting Superintendent
Elizabeth City - Pasquotank Public Schools.

End of letter

Those who want to continue to see that I admittedly missed the school name in my 1st message can do so if you like. For those who read the rest and are considering moving here and wondering about expectations on your child's education, I would just like to present this letter as an exhibit that the schools in Pasquotank County which includes my child's school correctly named here as Elizabeth City Middle School and all other public schools within the county are not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)targets in reading in its Elementary, Middle and High Schools FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS IN A ROW!
WHOLE TRUTH

Warsaw, NC

#8 Feb 5, 2009
The truth is that many schools in NC, VA and all other states do not meet AYP goals. AYP is a very flawed initiative. It is not a true indicator of successful teaching.
ThirstyPretz

Raleigh, NC

#9 Feb 9, 2009
I don't think the first person who replied to you was jumping all over you. I didn't read any malice or ill intent, she was just commenting on a few facts. I don't think it was such a huge deal that you forgot the name of your kids school either. People like drama. They look for it where they can even on small town news boards. Let it roll... If you're going to write something publicly be ready to be agreed and disagreed with. The world doesn't all think in the same direction.

Being a Coast Guard family and having had my children in four different school districts, each in a different state, I agree that the schools here are way below par. Unfortunately I think they're about to get worse as education budgets are going to be cut along with everything else with the economy. The only other thing I can do is supplement their learning at home. As far as the weather...being a northern girl who only heard of school being canceled if there was the possibility of more than six inches of snow...yeah it takes some getting used to that fog is a huge factor around here. I can't have everything my way so I try to work with what I've got and make improvements on my own.
EC MOM

Raleigh, NC

#10 Feb 16, 2009
I'd like to offer some comments....first of all-it is an easy mistake to call ECMS Pasquotank Middle School. It is on the same campus as PCHS and if you are new here...it would be an easy mix-up so lighten up on the lady! Secondly, I've lived here for several years. I moved here from VA. I agree that the schools can be lacking. As parents, we have to supplement at home. I know people do not like hearing that due to taxes they pay bit it is the truth. There are things in VA that are not present here, or in smaller doses. Thirdly, perhaps the 7th grader would benefit from the AIG program.

A note on the EOG goals--the state of NC as a whole did not meet its own goals. I think the whole system is flawed. I'm not sure about SOLs in Va, but I think most of the standardized testing programs across the country are bunk and lessen classroom creativity and learning.
Fed Up

Holly Springs, NC

#11 Feb 24, 2009
I'm with you on the problems with the EC Pasq Co School system and I hate to tell you it doesn't get any better in high school. I've had problems with them from elementary all the way up. Nobody cares if you call them concerning problems with the teachers, even when you notify them of things breach of confidentiality. The school delays are just half the problem, they have teachers that are too busy entertaining their self, sharing private student information with other students, talking to students about inappropiate topics like if they are their best friends and you can contact the school board until you are blue in the face and nobody cares. What does it take to get them to listen.
Outraged

Holly Springs, NC

#12 Feb 24, 2009
To the Elizabeth City Middle School mom be thankful your child is there and not River Road Middle. They have a teacher that shares private student information with other students, talks about inappropriate topics with kids like she is their age and nobody cares. All Carolyn Jennings does is decline to talk with parents when they ask for her help and it doesn't seem that the school board cares either. There is even a ongoing suit with this teacher and a family member for giving a underage child beer and forcing the child to watch a horror movie. Would you want your child around someone like this.
inner banker

Benson, NC

#13 Mar 12, 2009
There are PTA's at each school. You have too be involved and have a plan for your child. The fed and state programs and testing tax the teachers as well as the students. Have to contact your state and fed reps to change. Best to do that as a group. Talk to parents whos kids are in grades above yours for recommendations on teachers and electives for the next year. You have to be Proactive instead of reactive. This all Takes time But, as a Parent of a UNC graduate with Destinction who went thru K-12 in E city. it can be done. Just don't expect anybody else to do this for you. A good lesson for life also. Good Luck

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