School Board Approves 4 Restart Eligible Schools

The Johnston County Public School Board has approved four continually-low performing schools as Restart Schools for the 2018-19 school calendar.

The local school board has asked the NC State Board of Education to identify Benson Elementary, Benson Middle, Selma Middle and West Smithfield Elementary as Restart Schools.  All four schools earned a “D” on the State’s Accountability Report Card for the 2016-17 school year.

Restart allows the Johnston County School Board charter-like flexibility at these schools. The schools provide unique personalized learning opportunities on each site that are specific to their communities and their needs. Restart allows school improvement teams and the Principal to build a culture of success in their schools and involve all stakeholders in the school design process. All processes – from staff development to the school calendar – are built with the student at the center.  The ultimate goal is to jumpstart the learning process.

“We truly believe that personalized education lays the foundation for success for our students,” Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow told WTSB.  “This is the basis of our work in the Johnston County Public Schools. Although our work is not based on the commonly-accepted letter-grade labeling, the Restart flexibility model will not only highlight the results that we see in our classrooms between teacher and student, but advance our efforts.”

The State Board has had a moratorium on new Restart schools for several months. They are expected to open up the application process for new schools in December.  Johnston County and other school districts must submit schools for consideration at the December meeting no later than the end of October.

The Johnston County Public Schools application must show how they plan to meet goals and expectations that center around improving student achievement at each of the four schools.

Two other schools in Johnston County have already been classified as Restart schools. Cooper Elementary and North Johnston Middle are operating as Restart schools this year.