Chatham Public Education Ambassadors Council
MISSION: The mission of Chatham PEAC is to facilitate positive community engagement in the Chatham County Schools while advocating to strengthen public education in North Carolina. Choose Chatham….collectively we can make a difference.
- Engage community leaders in topical discussions that can lead to collaborative solutions for enhancing student achievement and teacher effectiveness in Chatham County Schools.
- Provide a forum for community leaders to share concerns and feedback regarding CCS and exchange ideas with CCS regarding collaborative opportunities.
- Provide a forum for CCS to share strategic planning updates and create CEF/CCS ambassadors of accurate information to spread in the county
- Encourage dialogue regarding “topics of interest” issues in education: growth, teacher shortage, bond/sales tax referendums, assessments, etc.
- Advocate for changes in state and local education policy that negatively impacts the students of Chatham County Schools.
Highlights from our first meeting on March 2, 2016
TOP 5 CHATHAM COUNTY SCHOOLS “BOASTABLE” HIGHLIGHTS
- CCS has the lowest teacher turnover rate in the region.
- CCS has the 8th highest teacher supplement in NC (due to a strong relationship with the County Commissioners).
- CCS offers ALL high school students access to a laptop for school and home use.
- The 2015 CCS graduating class earned over $12M in scholarships
- CCS has award winning Art and Career and Technical Education opportunities
TOP 5 CHANGES TO OUR SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHICS
- Over the past 12 years, CCS has added 1,300 students
- Over the last 12 years the hispanic/latino population has grown from 17% to 30%
- Over the last 12 years the average of CCS students qualifying for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program has increased from 35% to 50% (our schools range from 20%-98%)
- Only 30% of students entering kindergarten in CCS are prepared with early literacy skills
- OIn the next 10 years without Chatham Park, CCS expects to grow by 900 students and with Chatham Park CCS expects to grow by 2,500 students.
TOP 5 CHALLENGES FACING OUR SCHOOLS WITH PROJECTED GROWTH
- Teacher shortages, a nation-wide, state-wide issue. Our state universities are seeing a sharp decline in students majoring in education due to not only pay, but a lack of respect in NC for the teaching profession.
- Bus driver shortages have increased since the state has cut funding for teaching assistants (they drive many of our buses)
- Decrease in funding for instructional assistants, non-instructional support, federal funding, and more.
- The Grapevine. Chatham County spreads news, good and bad, via the grapevine. The “grapevine” is run by a minority of parents and community members with negative views. Getting positive news out is a challenge, as no no spreads this word.
- A-F Grading System. This state letter grade has impacted school morale, parent trust and the grades are unfounded in the true growth of students. See attached article.
TOP 5 THINGS CCS IS CURRENTLY DOING TO ADDRESS GROWTH
- CCS is proactively creating the infrastructure to address the coming growth including a state of the art transportation and maintenance facility to support the increase of buses that will be required. There is a potential for 27 new buses.
- CCS is proactively seeking land for the addition of two new schools (one elementary, one highs school) in the North East quadrant of the county where the current growth resides. These schools were in the works before Chatham Park and do not relate to Chatham Park projections.
- CCS is proactively speaking with the developers of Chatham Park and Briar Chapel to student growth.
- CCS is working diligently to attend job fairs to increase the potential teacher pipeline in Chatham County Schools.
- CCS is updating their strategic plan with focus on equality and excellence for everyone.
If you have questions please contact Jaime Detzi (firstname.lastname@example.org).