Large crowd attends global school presentation

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More than 250 parents and guests gathered at Stocks Elementary School on Dec. 12 to hear Edgecombe County Public Schools Superintendent John Farrelly’s address on the new Global School.

Farrelly informed parents regarding plans to implement Martin Millennium Academy, a K-8 global school that will begin in August 2014.

“The school district is thrilled to offer students in Edgecombe County a true global education. In addition, our comprehensive plan will reconfigure three schools in Tarboro that have needed to be revamped. Further, we are going to provide state of the art global educational resources to all 14 of our schools.”

Martin Millennium Academy will offer a dual language program for students beginning in kindergarten. Because the school will contain kindergarten through eighth grades, feeder schools will be reconfigured. Stocks Elementary will house pre-K through fifth-grade and W. A. Pattillo School will have soxth through eighth grades.

Farrelly’s theme “Focused, Connected and Ready to Go Global” took a creative approach to educating the audience about the district’s vision and this new initiative. He explained to the crowd that Edgecombe County Public Schools has been very strategic with its course of action in an effort to ensure that what they are doing is right.

“We have been studying global schools and dual immersion programs for over a year,” Farrelly said. “Our work continues to be focused on creating more rigorous and challenging learning opportunities for every student.”

Outlining key benefits of dual immersion programs and global education, Farrelly summarized more than 25 years of research. “The data shows significant trends of growth for students in all subgroups regardless of a student’s background and learning needs,” Farrelly said. “The dual language program is also parent friendly. Homework is sent home in English. Parents do not have to speak a second language in order for their child to be successful. We will even provide parents with beginner Spanish classes for those who are interested.”

Farrelly also used a map with the location of other global schools and dual immersion programs to point out that there are no similar programs located in the northeastern region of North Carolina. “This is our opportunity to be innovative and to afford our students an opportunity that not many other students are receiving in our state.”

Erin Swanson, principal of Stocks Elementary, shared in the excitement of the global school perspective. “We were honored to have Mr. Farrelly as our guest presenter to share the developments of Martin Millennium,” Swanson said. “Our first grade students even prepared a presentation about holidays around the world that aligned to the global theme.”

Farrelly said the support of the school board and the community has been great. “We are getting a lot of positive feedback on the realignment of our schools in town. Parents are also very pleased that we have been able to reconfigure our schools without redistricting or having to close a school.

“With our growing success over the next several years, I anticipate that all of our schools could grow. Closing a school is not an option.”

Parents and community members who are interested in learning more are invited to a meeting that will be held at C. B. Martin Middle School, the future site of the Academy.

This meeting took place at the new global school Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center. Two additional meetings are planned for Jan. 7 at Carver Elementary School and Jan. 14 at Coker-Wimberly Elementary School. Both meetings will occur at 6:30 p.m.

Other Global meetings will be scheduled through March.