News from the Board -- July 16, 2020

Posted by Jessica Coston on 7/17/2020 11:45:00 AM

 

At their special meeting on Monday, July 13, the Onslow County Board of Education went into recess until Thursday, July 16 to further discuss local plans for the state’s school reopening Plan B.  

At the time of the meeting on July 13, Governor Roy Cooper had not yet made his announcement regarding which plan NC schools would reopen under on August 17. On July 14, Gov. Cooper announced that schools would open under Plan B, which means schools would open at up to 50 percent capacity and require “moderate social distancing.” 

The governor’s announcement meant that the Board’s decision about how to implement Plan B would determine the way schools in Onslow County would reopen in the fall.  

On Thursday evening, the Board heard from Chief Communications Officer Brent Anderson, who presented the results of a survey he sent out to staff, families and community members earlier in the week. Mr. Anderson shared that overall, more survey respondents preferred Plan B, Option 1 over Plan B, Option 2. Option 1 would have students alternate in-person days within each week of school, whereas Option 2 would have students alternate full weeks of in-person instruction.  

Mr. Anderson broke down the data further to show that the three surveyed groups, staff, parents/guardians and community members, individually preferred Option 1 over Option 2 as well.  

Of the 10,862 respondents, 5,962 indicated a preference for Option 1, while 4,816 chose Option 2. Eighty-four respondents made no selection. Reponses included 8,449 from parents, 1,808 OCS staff members and 604 community members.  

In addition to survey results, Mr. Anderson shared the calendars that would go along with each option. He said that after discussion with Superintendent Dr. Barry Collins, it was decided that to keep students schedules consistent, in-person days and weeks would remain the same instead of switching days around to accommodate holidays, weather, etc. Therefore, Mr. Anderson said, in-person instruction time would be more even under Plan B, Option 1, as many holidays and workdays tended to fall on A weeks in the Option 2 calendar.  

With survey data and calendars as support, Mr. Anderson presented to the Board a staff recommendation to approve Plan B, Option 1 for Onslow County Schools when students return in the fall.  

After discussion of the data and how well staff has handled reopening planning, the Board unanimously voted to approve Plan B, Option 1.  

Option 1 will have alternating days within each week of school. Under this option, all students, PK-12, will be assigned a cohort (A or B) which will attend school in-person two days each week and learn remotely three days each week, on an alternating basis. On Monday and Tuesday, Cohort A will meet in-person, while Cohort B participates in remote learning. On Thursday and Friday, Cohort B will meet in-person, while Cohort A does remote learning. All students will participate in remote instruction on Wednesdays to allow time for cleaning, tutoring, and planning. 

This option will allow for families to be assigned to the same cohort, ensure all students receive equal in-person learning time, feed students doing remote learning at child nutrition hubs, allow for the consideration of all in-person learning being given to self-contained students who do not benefit from remote learning, allow for all students to remain at their enrolled schools, and allow families to opt for the Onslow Virtual School option for full-time online learning. 

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