BOE hears presentation on Genius

Dec. 04, 2013 @ 06:51 AM

FOREST CITY— The Rutherford County Board of Education received a report on the Genius program during its meeting on Tuesday.

Genius is a SAT/ACT preparation and incentive program that has recently been implemented into the system's high schools. It is a collaboration between Rutherford County Schools and the McNair Educational Foundation. 

Renee Collins, RCS director of secondary education; Monica Lee, executive director of the McNair Foundation and Julie Pittman, teacher at R-S Central gave the presentation on the program. 

"About a year ago we began looking at ways we could increase how we are preparing students for entrance exams and college," Collins said. "The result of that brainstorming is the Genius program." 

Through the program, students are given SAT/ACT test preparation during their flex time and are awarded with incentives for achieving certain levels of scores. Each level offers different incentives such as parking privileges, T-shirts, school recognition and lifetime passes to Rutherford County athletic events. 

"The main goal is to incorporate a strong college-going structure in all Rutherford County schools and all students," Pittman said. 

Jacob Lambert, a senior at R-S Central High School, also shared his thoughts on the Genius program with the board. 

"The first time I took the SAT, I knew I needed to improve my score to be competitive for scholarships and admission into UNC Chapel Hill. The ACT/SAT prep program during flex time at my school was a big help," Lambert told the board. "And when I took the SAT again and scored an exact 1300, my first thoughts should have been that I had improved 90 points. But I'll be honest, my first thought was 'Yes, lifetime athletic pass." 

Lee also shared that this week is Genius Week in all of the high schools. The McNair Foundation is promoting the program, sharing SAT facts and questions everyday and recognizing the students who have achieved the different levels of scores. 

"We know these things are motivating our students. I've heard them talking about it," Lee said. "Our main goal is to increase the students who meet the qualifications for admission to the colleges of their choice." 

The board also approved the 2013-15 school improvement plans for each of the schools in RCS that were presented by Assistant Superintendent Dr. David Sutton. Sutton said the schools began working on the plans in July 2013 and they include a diverse range of goals including increasing the cohort graduation rate and increasing SAT/ACT scores. 

Items of consent included the human resources report, a 2013-14 budget amendment, the statutory context for school improvement planing and a Sunday use of facilities for Chase High School. The board voted to allow the Chase Area Lion's Club to use the high school for the annual Lion's Club banquet on Sunday, Dec. 8. 

The meeting concluded with a report from Superintendent Dr. Janet Mason who praised the McNair Foundation for all the work it does within the schools and the partnership it has developed with the system. Lee also gave a short description on each of the McNair programs. 

"I appreciate the ability to work with the McNair Foundation. Every one of these programs require human resources. We wouldn't be able to have the programs without the foundation," Mason said. 

Important upcoming dates for RCS include:

Thursday, Dec, 12- Early dismissal for professional development

Friday, Dec. 20- Early dismissal for the holidays

Monday, Jan. 6- Students return to school. 

The next board of education meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.