Year-round students in Johnston County head back to class

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – School buses were up and running Thursday morning in Johnston County for the first day of school for year-round students.

CBS North Carolina’s Beairshelle Edmé spoke with Johnston County superintendent Ross Renfrow before the beginning of the new school year to learn what’s in store.

Renfrow said his administrative staff and teachers have spent most of the summer planning a refreshed vision for this school year.

Teachers have spent time receiving further professional development and part of that includes a renewed focus on helping students succeed.

Some North Carolina parents have complained that too much testing takes away from the one-on-one style of teaching.

Renfrow said Johnston County is working to get back to that model.

“We went through our leadership academies last week and talked about our new initiative “JoCo 2020” and talking about learning, being more personalized and individualized for our students. We hope to see more examples of that on the first day of school,” he said.

Renfrow further detailed that the roll out of less state testing mandates from local politicians can help educators focus on more of a one-on-one style of teaching.

“I think the general trend from the General Assembly is they’re looking at doing fewer and fewer tests as the future unfolds and we hope there are less test in the years to come,” he said.

Parent are welcoming the JoCo 2020 Plan.

“I think [the plan] could be great,” said Sattice McClearn, who has two sons in the district. “…Last year that’s what they were doing with him so I think that’s great spending more time with the kids.”

Father, Robert Eason is also optimistic about the plan.

“Yeah more hands on and more people working with them will help them more.”

Even if you don’t have a child in school, Renfrow wants people to be aware of the additional traffic on the road.

“Always approach a school bus with safety because we know they are carrying our most prized possession,” Renfrow said, “so just do the little things we need to do to maintain safety on our highways and in our parking lots.”

Full coverage: Brake4Buses

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