Swain County Schools faces recruitment, retention obstacles

In the midst of the third school year affected by COVID-19, school systems are keenly aware of the stress the pandemic causes for staff. Teachers and support staff alike have left their positions in record numbers as the occupation changes at breakneck pace, and Swain County Schools is doing what it can to identify obstacles to recruiting and retaining teachers. 

Relief funds aim to keep up with difficulties in schools

Just after the Coronavirus Pandemic broke out in the United States in March of 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law. Among other things, this bill established the Education Stabilization Fund, part of which is designated for K-12 public schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, also known as ESSER funds. 

Macon County Schools offers staff retention bonuses

Last week the Macon County School Board approved the use of ESSER funds to give recurring $1,500 bonuses to all full-time employees and $750 to all part-time employees for the coming three years. The first payment will be given out on the December payroll. 

Haywood schools outlines COVID retention bonus plan

During COVID-19, Haywood County Schools’ employees have gone above and beyond to support the community and encourage learning during the Coronavirus Pandemic. This began with meal deliveries to students and the community. When the state allowed students to return to in-person schooling, Haywood County Schools opened its doors five days a week for rotational or daily attendance. Haywood County Schools have been very safe with limited clusters, strong academic and extra-curricular performance.

Cawthorn defies law on school property

By Tom Fiedler • Asheville Watchdog | For the second time in as many months, Rep. Madison Cawthorn faces a potential criminal complaint for carrying a weapon — in the latest incident, a “combat” automatic knife similar to a switchblade — in a public school building.  

Bus driver shortage challenges WNC schools

Over 790,000 students ride the bus to and from school each day in North Carolina. That’s almost half of all K-12 public school students, making bus drivers a crucial part of the state’s education system.

School data shows pandemic learning loss

Performance data recently released by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction shows that just 45.4% of elementary, middle and high school students passed state exams given during the 2020-21 school year and 29.6% passed college or career readiness tests. 

Haywood County Schools has $10.5 million in flood damage

Beginning Sept. 20, students at Central Haywood High School will return to part-time in-person learning. These students have been learning remotely since flooding from Tropical Storm Fred caused severe damage to the school building in Clyde. 

It’s an important time to remain vigilant

By Mark Jaben • Guest Columnist | Two big things are happening in Haywood County this week.

First, a tremendous outpouring of help and support from people coming here in the aftermath of the devastating flood. Already, though, one member of a group has developed COVID and is hospitalized. The first rule of incident management is don’t become part of the incident; don’t contribute to the disaster. The fact is if someone gets COVID and has to isolate, or has a close contact exposure and should quarantine, they cannot do the good work they came here to do. 

As COVID cases rise, schools reverse mask decisions

As COVID-19 cases rise, in large part due to the spread of the new Delta variant, school boards across the state are opting to mandate masks for students and staff. 

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