News from the Board -- August 10, 2021

Posted by Jessica Wells on 8/12/2021

 

The Onslow County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on August 10 at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Agenda items for the meeting included the local school mental health plan, COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-2022 school year, and a presentation on elementary literacy.  

After 12 speakers during the public comment period, OCS Chief Communications Officer Brent Anderson presented to the Board a Good News Spotlight segment full of recognitions for some of the district’s athletic directors.  
The meeting’s first item of general business was the presentation of the district’s local school mental health plan from Chief of Human Resources and Student Services Dr. CJ Korenek. Dr. Korenek shared with the Board that district staff already have many resources in place for students and families in place to support student mental health. The formal plan aims to increase access to services by increasing the availability of school social workers, providing additional training to school staff, creating mental health teams at each school, and more.  

The Board unanimously approved the plan for the upcoming year.  

Next on the agenda was the discussion of COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-2022 school year. In a past meeting, the Board asked staff to develop protocols, bearing in mind that OCS believes in the importance of personal choice. On August 10, the Board approved a set of protocols that would make masks optional for all in schools. Masks will be mandatory on school transportation, in line with a Centers for Disease Control order. The protocols, which can be viewed in full on the OCS website, also detail quarantine procedures, cleaning protocols and other important considerations.  

The protocols were unanimously approved.  

The last item on the agenda was a presentation on elementary literacy and the implementation of the Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum from Deputy Superintendent Dr. Beth Folger. Dr. Folger and members of her team shared with the Board that more than 350 teachers and administrators have begun their professional development and training in the new reading curriculum and instruction staff are optimistic that the new way of teaching the “science of reading” will increase the number of OCS elementary students reading at or above grade level.  

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