• News from the Board -- April 9, 2024

    Posted by Jessica Wells on 4/12/2024 9:10:00 AM

     

    The Onslow County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on April 9 at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Agenda items included awards of contract for several construction projects, redistricting for Woodland Elementary School, and a donation of land to Onslow County. Board member Louis Rogers was absent.  

    After a Good News Spotlight, which highlighted the accomplishments of our students, and a public comment period with 1 speaker, the meeting’s general business was discussed.  

    Dr. Brendan Gartner presented to the Board a series of construction projects for which the district had recently received bids and asked for approval of contractors.  

    The first project was the installation of a building generator at Jacksonville Commons Middle School. This project received three bids from Cost Effective Maintenance, Inc., JL Britt, Inc., and Triple-R Electric, Inc. Triple-R Electric was identified as the lowest responsive, responsible bidder with a bid of $1,790,000. The Board awarded Triple-R the contract unanimously. 

    Next, Dr. Gartner presented a need for architectural/engineering services to design an additional bus parking area at Jacksonville High School. In 2022, land adjacent to JHS was purchased to alleviate the school’s parking shortage, and now the district needs a firm to design that area. Four Requests for Qualifications were received from Becker Morgan Group, REI Engineers, Smith Sinnett Architecture, and Timmons Group. Timmons Group was determined to be the most qualified firm for this project. The Board approved them unanimously.  

    The next project was for the enclosure of the breezeway connecting the administrative and core academic buildings at White Oak High School. The project is part of ongoing security upgrades, and the district is in need of a firm to design the enclosure. Smith Sinnett was the only firm to submit an RFQ. The Board unanimously approved the project to move forward with Smith Sinnett.  

    The final project discussed was the replacement of an exterior staircase that serves as a secondary exit at New Bridge Middle School. Smith Sinnett was the only firm to submit an RFQ. The Board unanimously approved Smith Sinnett to design the project.  

    With a new elementary school set to open its doors in 2025, there is a need to redistrict some of our existing elementary schools. Woodland Elementary is set to open for the 2025-2026 school year, and redistricting will affect four existing schools: Morton Elementary, Queens Creek Elementary, Silverdale Elementary, and Swansboro Elementary.  

    Redistricting decisions are made after the following issues are taken into consideration: school capacity, student population growth trends, instructional programming, transportation efficiency and student travel times, geography, maintaining cohesive neighborhoods, and feeder school patterns.  

    Dr. Gartner shared with the Board the proposed new attendance zones for Woodland Elementary, Morton, Queens Creek, Silverdale, and Swansboro Elementary. Redistricting would address overcrowding and make better use of facilities at all four of the affected, existing schools.  

    The Board approved staff to move forward in the redistricting process by gathering community and parent feedback.  

    The following meetings have been scheduled to gather feedback: 

    • April 22 at 6 p.m.: Queens Creek Elementary 
    • April 23 at 6 p.m.: Swansboro Elementary
    • April 24 at 6 p.m.: Morton Elementary
    • April 25 at 6 p.m.: Silverdale Elementary 

    Feedback can also be submitted via email to WESredistricting@onslow.k12.nc.us.  

    Last on the agenda was a donation of land to Onslow County. The Board of Commissioners has determined the Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department’s fire station is in need of replacement. A 3-acre plot of land on the grounds of Sand Ridge Elementary School has been identified as suitable for the fire station’s needs. The construction of such a fire station would not interrupt the daily operations of Sand Ridge Elementary School.  

    The Board unanimously approved the donation.  

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  • News from the Board -- April 3, 2024

    Posted by Jessica Wells on 4/5/2024 2:00:00 PM

     

    The Onslow County Board of Education met in special session on Wednesday, April 3, to discuss the proposed District Community Advisory Council.  

    At the beginning of the meeting, the Board approved a motion to add a closed session to the agenda, in order to meet with legal counsel in accordance with open meetings law.  

    Board members shared their thoughts on the creation of a district community advisory council based on the discussion held in March and their own independent research done since their last meeting.  

    Those in favor of such a council being created shared that they would like to see a council made up of community members, parents, and staff to help bridge existing gaps between the district and families. Other Board members expressed a desire to instead become more involved in the Onslow Community Collaborative, which is a countywide stakeholder group that meets to discuss the needs of our community’s youth, and to build upon the infrastructure the district already has in place to incorporate elements of a “district community advisory council” without creating an entirely new group.  

    Dr. Chris Barnes, OCS chief academic officer, shared some information on the district’s current Quality Council and System Involvement Team. He also shared some ideas on how those two groups could be refocused and expanded upon to include more community members and representatives from community organizations. Currently, Quality Council and System Involvement Team are groups of staff, parents, and some community members, that serve to inform the strategic planning process for the district.  

    In a 6-1 vote, the Board passed a motion to appoint a Board of Education member and an OCS staff member to the Onslow Community Collaborative and to direct staff to move forward with redesigning the district’s Quality Council and System Involvement Team. The dissenting vote came from Board member Angie Todd.  

    Before adjourning, the Board met in closed session to consult with legal counsel.  

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