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ECHS concept approved

WINTON – Hertford County’s governing body has approved the concept.

The commissioners, however, were clear about their concerns as they join with the Hertford County Public Schools and Roanoke-Chowan Community College to proceed with studying the implementation of an Early College High School in the county.

During Monday’s regular meeting of the Hertford County Commissioners, County Manager Loria D. Williams and Commissioner Johnnie R. Farmer presented a report from the joint meeting held last week concerning the possible addition of a high school on the RCCC campus.

Williams gave a brief update on the meeting and turned it over to Farmer who said a lot of questions that were not answered when the group discussed the program before were available at the most recent meeting.

“This will establish a second high school in Hertford County, which will obviously cause Hertford County High School to be smaller,” Farmer said in reference to the size of the student body.

He went on to say he believed Williams did a good job in enumerating the concerns of the board.

Farmer said the group wanted each of the respective boards to approve the concept before they went any further.

Commission Chairman Curtis A. Freeman said he believed there were two major concerns in the previous attempt to establish an Early College High School. The first was that the commissioners were brought in at the last minute and the second was the funding number from RCCC changed throughout the process.

“I think the failure last time was that neither the school board nor the community college knew exactly what they wanted,” Commissioner Dupont A. Davis said.

Williams said the comments of the board were pretty much the same as the ones she relayed to the participants.

“It is a given that if there is an Early College High School, we’ll have to fund it,” she said. “What we need to know is what number that is going to be.”

Williams said she believed the project was good and even said she would have enjoyed attending such a school.

“It can be a tremendous asset, but it will take a lot of work,” Williams said.

Freeman asked if there was a motion to approve the concept and Commissioner John E. Pierce offered the motion. Farmer gave a second.

“When you say concept, do you mean funding,” asked Davis.

Freeman said he did not, but was rather just having the board formally approve the concept of having an Early College High School in the county. It passed without objection.