News from the Board -- June 7, 2022

Posted by Jessica wells on 6/8/2022 5:10:00 PM


The Onslow County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on June 7 at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Agenda items included discussion on the amotion proceeding, the Title I plan, meal prices for 2022-2023, and the awarding of services for two upcoming school improvement projects. Member Joseph Speranza was not in attendance.  

After a Good News Spotlight segment, which celebrated the accomplishments of some of our middle and high school students, and a public comment period with 2 speakers, Board Attorney Alex Erwin started off the meeting’s general business.  

Erwin presented to the Board the rules and governing procedures for the upcoming amotion proceeding to remove a BOE member. He explained that the proceeding would consist of two hearings, the first of which would be overseen by a hearing officer, who would hear evidence from both sides and produce findings. Based on the hearing officer’s findings, the Board of Education would then hold a second hearing, where they would vote on the removal of a member.  

The Board approved the rules and procedures for amotion as presented.  

Next, Dwayne Snowden, OCS director of federal programs, took to the podium to present the district’s Title I plan for school year 2022-2023. Title I is a federal program that provides funding for schools with high percentages of low-income students. Title I funding supports remediation, acceleration, learning opportunities, professional development, supplies, salaries for additional personnel, etc.  

The Board approved the plan for the $5.6 million Title I budget.  

Following the Title I presentation, Steve Myers, OCS chief of operations, and Rebecca Collins, school nutrition director, presented to the Board information about current and future student meal prices. In 2021-2022, school breakfasts cost $1.25 and lunches cost $2.25. Myers and Collins asked the Board to consider a quarter increase to lunch costs, bringing the cost to $2.50. Breakfasts would remain $1.25.  

Collins shared that due to the increased cost of food and labor over the last five years, an increase would help the School Nutrition Department, which is self-sustaining and federally subsidized, keep up with rising costs. She also shared that in the last two years, OCS’ free and reduced lunch numbers have fallen 16 percent, largely due to a decrease in applications. Applications for free and reduced lunch will be available online, starting in July. All families who need assistance or believe they may qualify are encouraged to apply.  

The Board approved the 25-cent increase.  

In the last two agenda items, Myers presented to the Board a request to award services for two upcoming school improvement projects. The first project, which would be done using COVID relief funds, would be the replacement of HVAC and water heater systems at Dixon High School. The Board voted to award engineering services for this project to Progressive Design Collaborative, who will oversee the project and ensure it adheres to current building codes.  

The second project would be the renovation of parts of the old Richlands Elementary School for use by Trexler Middle. For this project, an eight-classroom wing and media center would be redone and repurposed. Trexler’s traffic pattern would also be improved as part of this project. The Board awarded architectural services for the Trexler renovation to Smith Sinnett Architecture for a cost not to exceed $360,000.  

To close the meeting, Dr. Barry Collins, OCS superintendent, thanked everyone, including staff, students and families, for a wonderful school year. He said that, as a team, we all accomplished many positive outcomes. This year, we will graduate around 2,000 seniors, sending them out into the world, knowing they received a world-class education. Dr. Collins said that, as we end a school year, the future is bright. The district plans to continue prioritizing safety, mental health and instruction, while focusing on quality staffing through recruitment and retention.  


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