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News from the Board -- November 8, 2019

 

On Friday, November 8, 2019, the Onslow County Board of Education held a special meeting to discuss proposed revisions to policies 3420 and 3460, regarding graduation requirements and student progression, as well as funding for the 2020-2021 school year.  

In its first order of business, the Board heard a staff recommendation presented by OCS Superintendent Dr. Barry Collins. Dr. Collins shared with Board members that staff recommended the elimination of the graduation project as a graduation requirement for students in Onslow County. Following his recommendation, Dr. Collins emphasized that academic rigor is still a priority of Onslow County Schools, and that if the project were to be eliminated, teachers and district staff would still work to incorporate the skills students need for college and their careers in other coursework. 

The Board unanimously voted to accept the staff recommendation and eliminate the graduation project, after much discussion regarding the importance of maintaining instructional rigor and ensuring that students will continue learning the skills that the graduation project taught.  

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Beth Folger assured Board members that the OCS instructional team will take their concerns into account when planning curriculum and offering learning opportunities to students. Dr. Folger shared that there are already many opportunities for students to research, write, present and learn from community members through AP capstone projects, apprenticeships, CTE advanced studies, the IB program, dual college enrollment and more.  

Dr. Collins said that seniors who choose to complete the project for the 2019-2020 school year will be recognized with an honor cord to wear at graduation.  

Next on the agenda, was a funding discussion, regarding how the Board will move forward working with the County government to determine future funding processes.  

Board Chair Pam Thomas shared that she and other Board members had recently met with some of the county commissioners and county staff and had a productive, pleasant conversation about working together to streamline a funding process for the future. She said that school and county officials seemed to agree that it would be best for both parties to develop a funding process that would take the delays and guesswork out of school funding. Ms. Thomas thanked the Board members that served on the BOE’s joint funding committee earlier this year for their work and shared that, moving forward, the BOE and county would be dissolving their respective committees. Instead, BOE and county leadership will work with one another directly to determine a process that would be beneficial to both parties.