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Changes coming for low-performing schools in Craven County

Parents, grandparents and members of the community were given the opportunity to help mold the new changes through surveys, interviews and meetings. (Aisha Mbowe, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Two area schools are adopting new models to help improve a student's learning.

The restart model allows for low-performing schools to operate with a lot of flexibility. School officials met Monday to go over the changes coming to Oaks Road Elementary School and Roger Bell Elementary School beginning with the 2018-19 school year.

"I have two grand kids here, one in kindergarten and one in third," said Brenda Lennon of her grandchildren, who attend Oaks Road. "I like the way things are going, the way they are planning to do things. So I want to see if they are going to follow up on it."

The state allows for schools under the restart model to operate almost like a charter school. They have significant flexibility when it comes to things like the school calendar, class size, teacher compensation and school improvement planning. Parents, grandparents and members of the community are given the opportunity to help mold the new changes through surveys, interviews and meetings.

"Restart is an opportunity for schools that have been persistently low performing to have a restart so it's exactly what the name suggests," said Eleanor Patrick, principal at Oaks Road.

"It gives Oaks Road the opportunity to be bigger and better and do more for children and I'm just excited to be a part of that," said Gayle Midyette, a volunteer and community member.

Patrick said that's exactly the commitment and excitement the school will need to tackle this journey in the next few weeks.

"We also know and understand that it will take some time and so having those bench marks along the way, year one, and then year three and year five," Patrick said.

In addition to the meetings on Monday, school officials plan to have follow-up meetings on the planning process on March 12.

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