Randolph County School System issues more than 1,000 diplomas

ASHEBORO – The Randolph County Schools Board of Education met Monday, Aug. 21, with a variety of informational items to be presented to the board. 

The first information item that was presented to the board was an update on Apprenticeship Randolph.  

According to its website, Apprenticeship Randolph is “an opportunity for juniors and seniors living and/or learning in Randolph County to get a jump start on a professional career in our booming local industries.” 

Students get on-job training, experience and an Associates of Applied Science from Randolph Community College. 

“Apprenticeship Randolph’s Signing Ceremony and Graduation was held at Randolph Community College last month,” said Superintendent Stephen Gainey. “Two things happened that night. The seventh group of apprentices were named, and I’m very proud to say that 12 of the 16 apprentices named for the seventh cohort came from Randolph County School systems. The third group of graduates from the program were recognized that night, and 11 of the 13 graduates were from RCS. 

“This is a great opportunity that students have been taking advantage of. We have 21 industry partners. The first year, we started with 12. It’s exciting. Really proud of our kids. All high school students in Randolph County are eligible for the program, whether it’s charter private, home, Asheboro City Schools or Randolph County Schools. Today, 123 have been selected for this program, and 93 have come from Randolph County Schools.” 

The second information item that was presented to the board was the results of the 2023 Read to Achieve Summer Reading Camp, which took place from June 19 to July 6 for second and third-grade students. 

The camp had 345 participants, with 166 second graders and 179 third graders. Of the 179 third graders, 120 took the mCLASS Summer Benchmark Assessment, with five students passing, and 123 took the Read to Achieve test, with 22 students passing. 

“If they didn’t pass the mCLASS, they could go and take the Read to Achieve,” Gainey said. “They could satisfy the Grade 3 reading standard for the state by passing one or the other, and they wouldn’t take the second one if they passed the first. 

“We see the pass rate, but I think anytime we’re working on reading, you can’t go wrong working on reading. We’d like to see the rate higher, but at any rate, working on reading is paramount, in my opinion.” 

The board was also presented with the Class of 2023 Graduation Statistical Information. 

RCS issued 1,066 diplomas and six certificates. Of the graduating students, 320 are attending a four-year college, 465 are attending a community college, private junior college or trade school, 231 are entering the workforce and 18 students indicated that they were undecided. 

In total, $31,196,485 in scholarship money was awarded to Randolph County School System graduates pursuing further education.  

The final informational item was the 2023-2024 Alternative Education Option for Students who are long-term suspended. 

Schools in North Carolina are required to provide an education to students who are long-term suspended, and the current plan presented to the board is consistent with the plan that the district has been using for years. 

“We have been using this plan with not many revisions to it,” Gainey said. “Obviously, as online options have increased over time. We actually presented this plan for the first time in 2015 and have been using it ever since.  

“Some people don’t realize that when a child gets long-term suspended from school, we have to provide an education for them. It has worked well, our staff has done a really good job with it, and obviously, as more online instruction occurs universally, this plan really fits into that.” 

The Randolph County Schools Board of Education will next meet September 18. 

By Ryan Henkel