HENDERSON — Six Vance County Schools principals have received the opportunity to participate in a training program intended to sharpen their ability to lead the sort of remote-learning programs that have become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group includes Carnetta Thomas of E.M. Rollins STEAM Academy, Heddie Somerville of Clarke Elementary School, Kristen Boyd of Aycock Elementary School, Renee Batchelor-Crosson of Pinkston Street Elementary School, Stephanie Ayscue of the AdVance Academy and Travis Taylor of Vance County Early College High.

All of them “are proven experienced leaders who are among some of the best in the state,” Vance County Schools Superintendent Tony Jackson. “We are extremely fortunate to have them leading our schools, and supporting students during this very challenging time.”

The six will participate in the inaugural cohort of the Distinguished Leadership in a Remote Learning Environment program, developed by the N.C. Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association in partnership with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and the N.C. Alliance for School Leadership Development.

They were among more than 1,800 applicants from across North Carolina, representing 62 school districts and 13 charter schools.

They and others in the program’s first cohort started their training on Oct. 5 and will continue it through February, VCS Public Information Officer Aarika Sandlin said.

Perhaps fittingly, the training is itself completely virtual.

Participants will join facilitated Zoom conferences, online activities, virtual interactions with peers and facilitators, and structured sharing sessions, according to the principals’ association.

They will try to develop “a shared vision for high-quality instruction in a remote and hybrid learning environment,” figure out how to evaluate and coach the teachers who have to implement that environment and “create a collaborative culture of high expectations for students and staff” in remote-learning environments, VCS officials said.

“Our school leaders are responding to the urgency to strengthen their ability to lead effective virtual and hybrid learning in their schools,” said Shirley Prince, executive director of the N.C. Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association. “ If their students are going to be successful throughout these challenging times, their deliberate and focused instructional leadership will be more important than ever.”

The training will include modules on quality instruction, coaching and evaluation, and culture and equity, Sandlin said.

See https://www.ncpapa.net/domain/1039 for more information.