Pender County Schools
The mission of the Pender County Schools is to facilitate student growth and learning so that each child’s potential is developed to it’s maximum, enabling each to live a quality life and be a contributing member of society. This will be accomplished in a fiscally sound manner, in a safe and secure environment, by highly effective personnel, utilizing the most current technology, in concert with our county commissioners and other community individuals and groups.
The Pender County School System has twelve schools consisting of six elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, and alternative school. Included are one year-round school and one A+ Arts School. Construction of a seventh elementary school will be completed for use by fall 1998. Enrollment for 1997-98 is 6052.
The schools are strategically located across the fifth largest county in the state and the school system is the fastest growing system, by rate, in North Carolina. In 1996 Pender County passed a $25 million county bond referendum and the state passed a $13 million bond referendum to help provide new and better school facilities. Pender County Schools’ budget for 1998 is $48,125,261, which includes capital project funding of $15,077,522.
All schools are accredited by the State of North Carolina, Both high schools are also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The curriculum includes twenty major areas, covered by more than 150 course selections. Students are afforded the opportunity to specialize in (a) college tech prep courses that include four units of credit appropriate for a career pathway or (b) college preparatory courses that include four-year college requirements for the North Carolina University System. Pender County Schools provides counselors in every school, and a career development coordinator to assist both high schools with career planning and school-to-work initiatives for all students.
Programs and services expand beyond the basics to include strong, solid cooperative partnerships with local civic and community organizations, business and industry, UNC-Wilmington, and community colleges. Both high schools offer work-based learning opportunities through job shadowing, internships, and youth apprenticeships in local businesses and industries. Business partners provide resources to Pender County Schools through many creative and effective means.
Cape Fear Partners for Career Success is an organization established through joint efforts on the regional business and educational environments to help develop partnerships and to provide smooth transitions for students moving from school (high school or college level) to the world of work.
The Pender County Board of Education is composed of five members, who serve staggered four-year terms, and are elected at large by the voters of the county in non-partisan elections. The Board has identified $58 million in facility needs over the next ten years and has begun construction and renovation projects throughout the system.