News from the Board -- April 14, 2023

Posted by Jessica Wells on 4/14/2023 2:35:00 PM

 

The Onslow County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on April 11 at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Agenda items included an instructional highlight, a redistricting presentation, and an award of engineering services. Board member Bill Lanier was absent.  

After a Good News Spotlight segment, which celebrated the achievements of OCS students and staff, and a public comment period with 4 speakers, Dr. Chris Barnes, OCS Chief Academic Officer, took to the podium to talk about instructional culture and planning.  

Dr. Barnes, alongside Director of College and Career Readiness Dr. Michael Elder, presented to the Board some of Instructional Services’ strategies for supporting students as they navigate academic planning. Dr. Barnes shared that April is Month of the Military Child, and that much of what Instructional Services does is specially designed to support military-affiliated students and their needs.  

Dr. Elder shared information about a program named “MajorClarity” that allows OCS students to think long-term about their academic and career goals. The online tool allows students to plan for high school scheduling years in advance in all different pathway options. The service also provides access to scholarship information and pathways to micro-credentials. So far, about 95 percent of OCS 8th graders have completed their initial assessments on MajorClarity, and 85 percent have started or completed a 4-year plan.  

Next, Dr. Brendan Gartner, OCS Chief of Operations, presented to the Board preliminary draft maps for the planned redistricting process for Dixon and Southwest high schools. Redistricting this area will make better use of both facilities and alleviate overcrowding at Dixon High.  

Draft maps will be published for the public and town hall meetings for feedback will be held in the coming months. Redistricting is not set to occur until the 2024-2025 school year. 

Finally, Dr. Gartner also asked the Board to approve an award of engineering services to Progressive Design Collaborative to update the generator at Jacksonville Commons Middle School. After record-low temperatures over this past holiday season, the district identified the need for better centralized shelter facilities in case of an emergency in Onslow County. The Board approved the award of services.  

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