NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley met with 19 high school students Wednesday morning as part of his annual Superintendent's Student Advisory Breakfast.
Markley said he was every careful when rounding up the students for the meeting and asked the principals who they would recommend.
"I wanted a cross-selection of students, not just the best students," explained Markley. "From honor kids to kids who have spent some time in the principal's office - I wanted a great selection."
The participating students, representing the district's seven high schools, had an informal discussion with Markley about student concerns. They talked about things like access to technology, school safety and ways the district can improve.
"All the cultural changes these days, the drug issues in school and the problems we've seen downtown - I really want to know how the students are responding to all this," said Markley.
One student from Wilmington Early College expressed frustrations regarding counselors putting advanced students on the back burner because they need to focus on the general population of students.
For a couple years the students have said they needed more access to their guidance counselors, and Just this week the school board announced they are looking to increase the amount of time counselors spend with their students.
The school board's proposed changes would require every high school student to meet with their counselor for a personal session once a semester.
The proposed changes will be discussed at the next school board meeting in April.
Students from Wilmington Early College also mentioned the lack of sports and extracurricular activities to participate in.
Other concerns from students across the district include gangs and general safety. A student from New Hanover High School said they felt "extremely safe in school, but [NHHS] has a really bad reputation."
A student from Mosley brought up the point that students can't always depend on teachers to be responsible for gang dangers. The kids have to speak up to teachers and staff, because typically the students will have a better idea of what is really going on.
Markley said they've had a great student response at this breakfast event over the past several years. School officials have made actual changes in regards to taking student input from this meeting.
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