News from the Board -- October 4, 2022

Posted by Jessica wells on 10/6/2022 10:45:00 AM



The Onslow County Board of Education held a special meeting on Tuesday, October 4 at 5 p.m. for the purpose of accepting two new appointments to the Board. After the Board unanimously voted to accept the appointments, Elbert Garvey and Louis Rogers were administered the oath of office.  

Following the swearing in of the new members, the Board began its regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m. at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Agenda items included awards of architectural services for two construction projects, a presentation on calendar development, and a presentation on school strategic plans.  

After a Good News Spotlight segment, which highlighted the accomplishments of three OCS teachers, and a public comment period with two speakers, OCS Chief of Operations Steve Myers opened the meeting’s general business.  

Myers presented to the Board information on two upcoming construction projects: the Northwoods Park Middle School expansion and a new “Northeast” elementary school. Mr. Myers shared that the expansion of Northwoods Park would increase its capacity from 720 to around 900, would address overcrowding at Jacksonville Commons Middle School, and would include a larger gym, expanded core spaces, additional parking, and repurposed spaces. The cost of the project is estimated at $14,597,878.  

The Board unanimously voted to direct staff to move forward with negotiations with Smith Sinnett Architecture. If a reasonable agreement cannot be reached, staff will begin negotiations with Oakley Collier Architects.  

Next, Myers talked about the plans for a new elementary school in the northeastern part of the county. The new school would address overcrowding in four of the district’s current elementary schools. The district plans to use a prototypical design, used for 3 other schools recently built in the district, to reduce construction costs. The cost of the project is estimated at $42,482,881.  

The Board unanimously voted to direct staff to move forward with negotiations with Pinnacle Architecture. If a reasonable agreement cannot be reached, negotiations will begin with Smith Sinnett.  

Next to the podium was OCS Chief Communications Officer Brent Anderson, who presented to the Board information about 2023-2024 calendar development. Anderson shared with the Board the legal calendar requirements, including holidays, start and end dates, workdays, instructional hours, and more. He said that an earlier draft calendar for the 2023-2024 school year had been shared with the Board, principals, directors, Quality Council and the System Involvement Team. These groups include principals, teachers, parents and community members. After receiving feedback, a second calendar was drafted and sent out for more feedback. A third calendar draft will be shared on November 10, 2022, and a final calendar draft will be presented to the Board for approval on December 6, 2022.  

Last on the agenda was a presentation from Dr. Mark Bulris, executive director of elementary education, who shared information with the Board about the upcoming process for the development of strategic plans for school improvement. Dr. Bulris said that plans are typically made on a 2-year cycle, but that, due to Hurricane Florence and COVID-19, the district’s plans have not been updated in nearly 4 years.  

He also shared that due to Florence and COVID, the district lost instructional time and, therefore, has seen decreased proficiencies. Moving forward, Dr. Bulris said the plans for school improvement will focus on making up for lost learning time and meeting student/staff needs.  


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