Pender County schools talks sex abuse training, new school calendar

Pender County School Board meets

PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Pender County Schools discussed several notable items at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

They unveiled a new sexual abuse training program that will help train teachers and staff on how to recognize sex abuse. The training will focus on teaching faculty how to identify students that might be sexually abused and how to report it.

School leaders also emphasize that there are ways for students to report sex abuse anonymously online.

Superintendent Dr. Steven Hill said it’s all about communication. They want students to feel safe in reporting inappropriate behavior.

“The concept is trust your law enforcement officers, trust your teachers. We want positive relationships with them, but we also set up media," said Hill. “There’s several media options to report anonymously that we have set up in the system as well.”

Also on the agenda was a conversation on the school calendar. Leaders were expected to vote, but the vote was tabled until Friday. The school system wants to essentially make all calendars resemble college calendars, meaning all testing would be done before Christmas break and schools would finish the year in May.

School officials delayed the vote in part because they’re still trying to figure out how to make the schedule that lines up with those goals.

While the board might need more time to mull it over, parents are optimistic about the schedule.

“They see the benefit of their children being able to take an exam at the end of the education process instead of taking a two week break, instead of trying to come back and trying to take an exam," said Hill. "At the high school level it’s structured well, it also allows us to line our dual enrollment classes up with our colleges which is a huge benefit so we don’t have kids a week out of line with the universities they’re trying to get credits from.”

The board is expected to vote on the calendar Friday morning.

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