Pender County Schools superintendent discusses what families can expect as the new school year begins

Students in Pender County will head back to the classrooms for the new school year on Monday, Aug. 28.
Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 11:47 AM EDT
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PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Students in Pender County will head back to the classrooms for the new school year on Monday, Aug. 28.

In preparation for the new year, Pender County Schools Superintendent Dr. Brad Breedlove spoke with WECT about what students and families can look forward to over the course of the new year.

As far as teacher vacancies are concerned, Dr. Breedlove believes that schools across the county are in better shape than they were a year before.

“You know, the teaching profession, just looking for teachers and support personnel is always difficult. But Pender County Schools, I believe, is in good shape. I think we’re down from what we had last year, previous years, on the number of vacancies. So we’re heading in the right direction,” Breedlove said.

Many are trying their best to forget the restrictions that the COVID-19 pandemic brought upon society, but Pender County Schools is continually monitoring health trends, including COVID, to ensure that students are able to excel in the classroom.

“You know, certainly want our students to be healthy and safe. And so we’re watching [recent COVID trends], we have a nurse in every school, so that also helps,” Breedlove explained. “So we’ll keep an eye on that. Attendance, you talked about priorities, attendance is important.

“You know, when it comes to academic achievement, and making sure our students are safe. We want our students in school, we’re open for business. And so we are monitoring that each and every day. And that’s sort of the expectations that students come to school and we have the support personnel to ensure that students come in and have a great time.”

As the population continues to grow in areas across southeastern North Carolina, Pender County Schools is looking at ways to expand its academic offerings.

“... we passed a school bond, $178 million bond, we’re getting ready to build a K-8 school right now we’re in the planning stages of that. It won’t be open for a couple of years, so we still have to monitor the number of students in our buildings. Make sure that we have enough adult personnel in those buildings to monitor safely,” said Breedlove.