• OCS Response to Governor Cooper's Reopening Announcement - July 14, 2020

    Posted by Brent Anderson on 7/14/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Earlier today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that when they return in August, schools across North Carolina will be reopening under the state’s Plan B. This requires school systems to practice moderate social distancing, implement additional safety measures, and operate facilities and transportation at reduced capacity. 

    In response to the governor’s decision, Superintendent Dr. Barry Collins, shared, “We had been hoping for a full return to in-person instruction for our students next month. Reopening our schools under Plan B will certainly provide challenges for our staff and families. In OCS, the wellbeing of our students and staff is our highest priority. Now that we have definite direction on how we will resume instruction in the fall, district staff, school administrators, teachers, and support personnel will move forward and continue preparing for a safe and healthy start to the new school year.”  

    The district is currently considering two options for the implementation of Plan B. A link to information about the two options, and an opportunity to provide feedback on them, is available under the Onslow County Schools in the News section on the district’s main website. 

    Staff will be reviewing the details from the governor’s announcement and additional updates will be shared later in the week.

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  • Reopening Update - July 2, 2020

    Posted by Brent Anderson on 7/2/2020 5:00:00 PM
    Since closing our buildings to in-person instruction in March, school districts across North Carolina have been anticipating direction from state officials on how they will reopen this fall. In June, the state shared three different options for schools to consider in planning for a return to instruction: 
    • Plan A involves moderate social distancing, an increased focus on handwashing and use of hand sanitizer, more frequent cleaning of facilities – especially in high traffic/high touch areas – and modification of normal school routines to allow for more transition time along with health and temperature screenings.

    • Plan B requires schools to provide all the measures in Plan A, but to decrease occupancy of facilities and transportation to no more than 50% capacity. This would require districts to possibly consider limiting attendance in buildings on an alternating schedule, using some combination of in-person and virtual instruction and limiting numbers of students on buses.

    • Plan C would require school districts go with remote learning only. This would be the most drastic of the three plans and implemented by the state only if there were a need to suspend in-person instruction.
    In their guidance, state officials told school leaders to expect a decision on how they would be reopening by July 1. Yesterday, schools learned the state was still closely reviewing and monitoring COVID-19 data, and a reopening decision was going to be delayed for possibly up to two more weeks.
     
    We wanted to share this information and let you know district and school administrators continue to move forward with plans to resume instruction for our traditional calendar schools on August 17. It is essential to get students back into their classrooms with their teachers. As a district, we are committed to providing in-person instruction for our students in the safest environment possible. We also understand not all families may be comfortable with a return to the school buildings. Staff are finalizing plans to provide these families an option in the fall. More information on the new Onslow Virtual School will be shared next week.
     
    Custodial and maintenance staff have been working diligently to make sure our facilities are clean and that schools have all necessary social distancing signage and personal protective equipment. Instructional staff have been preparing plans for our Summer Jump Start program and developing learning resources which will benefit not only children in this program, but across the county. School administrators have been working with their staff on ways to modify school routines and building usage to meet the state requirements and recommendations.
     
    As we continue to move closer to the August 17 traditional school calendar start date, know we will remain in close contact to share the information our school community needs. Expect calls, emails, and texts with updates, and be sure to check out the OCS district website for a special section dedicated to sharing our reopening plans and other information. You can also keep up with OCS through our official social media platforms.
     
    Thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to prepare for the new school year.
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  • Superintendent's Message - June 26, 2020

    Posted by Brent Anderson on 6/26/2020 5:00:00 PM

    Dear OCS Families, 

    While we wait on word from the state about reopening, I know you have many questions about what school will look like when we come back in August. Regardless of the direction we receive from state officials, OCS remains committed to providing our families the best education in the safest environment possible. 

    Our staff have been hard at work cleaning our schools and developing processes to ensure a safe and healthy learning and work environment. Plans are being developed based on recommendations from trusted national, state, and local health sources – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and Onslow County Health Department. 

    We do not know exactly how things will look when we return in August. However, we do know some things will look different. 

    Our students can expect more education around proper handwashing and hygiene procedures. Staff will be helping children learn how to move around our schools with an increased focus on social distancing. There will most definitely be an emphasis on cleaning and sanitation processes, and some of our daily school routines will have to be modified. 

    We want our school community to have accurate and complete information. You can count on getting calls, emails, and texts throughout the reopening process, and we will keep you updated as more information becomes available over the coming weeks. 

    A safe return to school in August starts with understanding that healthy schools begin at home. Thank you for doing your part to protect the health of your family and our community. I appreciate your support and understanding as we plan for your child’s return. 
     
    Sincerely, 

    Dr. Barry Collins, 
    Superintendent 

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