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Deeper learning, newly hired SRO, and geotechnical exploration approval on deck at Regular Board Meeting

The Board will meet again for a special session on August 8

Miranda H. Lewis

Carter County Times

Flexible seating, calming rooms, an auditorium to accommodate band and theatrical performances, and a fresh fruit and vegetable stand available to students on demand.

If this mind-bending vision sounds like something that might have been dreamt up by school pupils, that’s because it is.

Attendees from Camp Carter presented an astounding architecture presentation via a newscast on Monday at the Carter County Board of Education regular meeting. The presentation exhibited blueprints that featured designs for the entryway, hallways, classrooms, cafeteria, and athletic complex for the future Carter County High School.

As they portrayed their vision for the potential consolidated high school in a thought-provoking demonstration, their efforts spoke to modernization’s ability to boost morale, efficiency, and outcomes within a school community.

After touring East and West Carter High School, eighth-grade students gathered information about each existing building and designed architectural drafts to depict the prospective new High School based on the input of camp participants.

“These kids have done a wonderful job during two weeks of Camp Carter becoming architects, planners, and developers,” announced Jennifer Fraley, Chief Academic Officer.

For the façade, for instance, they were determined to use salvaged materials in any way possible in order to retain a familiar sense of welcome. In agreement, they declared the stained glass at the entrance of West Carter High School was imperative to recreate.

“The kind of learning experience that these children engaged in over Camp Carter is called deeper learning. We are moving toward this type of learning experience in our county,” said Fraley.

Deeper learning can take on several forms and goes beyond just memorization or learning to do a repetitive task, it requires students to demonstrate a higher-level set of skills. Examples of deeper learning include thinking through something complex with many moving parts, finding a creative solution where there is no clear right answer, and effectively communicating or influencing others through written, oral, or visual means. 

Fraley said she hopes to infuse more elements of this type of authentic, real-life learning experiences across the district.

Deeper learning certainly touches on and requires “core” content knowledge such as reading, writing, mathematics, etc. – but it also means that students go beyond just the basics and use that knowledge to solve a real problem or create something new and important, explained Fraley.

RossTarrant Senior Principal, Laith Ross, commended the students for their impressive presentation.

“I have taken a whole page of notes,” joked Ross.

He described the architectural designs as “cutting edge” and “trendy”.

“Some of the things that you showed are what is currently being done, the trending things we are seeing all across the nation,” he said.

“Some of those photos and ideas are similar to what we have presented,” he assured the students.

Superintendent Dr. Paul Green and members of the board extended their gratitude to the students for their passion, excitement, and the work they put into their presentation.

Following the student presentation Chief of Police R.D. Porter gave his report and stated that the new police force is moving along.

In an initiative that is aimed at finding a balance between the safety and education of students, Porter reported that the county has hired an additional School Resource Officer (SRO).

“Eric Caudill comes to us with twenty years of experience,” said Porter.

“He has a lot of training and credentials behind him. He will be an asset to our agency,” he continued.

Porter confirmed that the agency has received its police cruisers and noted that uniforms and all remaining equipment are expected to arrive by the start of the new school year next month.

In other news, Ross stated that the geotechnical survey previously approved by the board is ongoing.

The broad purpose of a subsurface investigation is to inform geotechnical engineers, contractors, and other professionals about soil and rock conditions to aid with identifying and mitigating any geotechnical-related risk.

“The entry way is surveyed, the park and turn entry, and in two weeks it’ll be back, and we will finalize the groundwork portion of that survey. Things are moving right along. It’s getting exciting,” he said.

“The more solid the design gets, the more excited the team gets,” he added.

Following the executive session, Ross introduced a change order request for geotechnical exploration.

“It’s for the environmental view and assessment of the property. Prior to construction beginning it’s required for projects to release federal funding. It covers stream allocations, endangered species, and cultural resources,” explained Ross.

“What is the cost?” asked board member Patrick Ferry.

“$73,000.000,” replied Ross.

A motion was made by Ferry to accept the change order and seconded by Miranda Tussey. The motion passed unanimously.

The board voted to add two special board meeting dates in addition to their regular schedule. The board will convene a special session on August 8 and September 12.

Contact the writer at miranda@cartercountytimes.com



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