News from the Board -- June 2, 2020

Posted by Jessica Coston on 6/5/2020 11:40:00 AM


The Onslow County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on June 2, 2020 at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Agenda items for this meeting included the 2020-2021 Title I plan and COVID-19 updates regarding facilities, instruction and athletics.  

To begin the meeting, Director of Federal Programs Dwayne Snowden presented to the Board the 2020-2021 plan for the Title I program. Mr. Snowden said that the major considerations of the plan included a district needs assessment, supporting math PD and instruction, supporting the OCS instructional framework, early intervention and remediation, supporting the OCS early childhood program, and school-level needs.  

Mr. Snowden shared that the district’s plan would serve elementary and middle schools with an economically disadvantaged population of 35 percent or higher. Based on that criteria, 18 of 20 elementary schools and all 8 of the district’s middle schools qualify and will receive funding. Total Title I school-level funding comes to $4,063,089. In addition to supporting district-level initiatives such as math PD and instruction and the early childhood program, that money will go toward funding school supports such as Title I coaches, remedial/acceleration services, expanded learning opportunities, equipment, supplies, professional development, and the funding of additional school-level positions such as teachers, assistants, and/or tutors.  

The Board unanimously approved the district’s Title I plan for the 2020-2021 school year.  
Next on the agenda was a presentation regarding facility rentals and usage agreements from OCS Chief of Operations Steve Myers. Mr. Myers shared with the Board that under Board Policy 5030, the district may rent out its facilities to three different tiers of renters. Level 1 is government agencies, Level 2 is nonprofit organizations and Level 3 is for-profit organizations. Rental fees vary, based on renter level, and all renters must fill out a facility usage agreement and ensure that they have all necessary insurance.  

Due to COVID-19, facility rentals were put on hold as of March 17, 2020. Recently, NC Executive Order 138 made allowance for OCS to resume facility rentals for day camps, faith-based worship groups, and governmental agency usage on a case by case basis. Facility rentals became available again as of June 1, 2020 and all rentals must comply with executive orders and NCDHHS guidelines. All renters will be charged a surcharge for additional cleaning and disinfecting that will be required to maintain the safety of facilities.    

Next, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Beth Folger presented to the Board information about the district’s plan to provide summer remediation following the COVID-19 closures. The goal of this “jump-start” program is to provide supplemental summer learning for students whose learning has been negatively affected by the impacts of COVID-19. The district’s plan will be based on Session Law 2020-4, House Bill 1043 and will be submitted to NCDPI on or before June 22, 2020. Current estimates show that approximately 7500 students are projected to qualify.  

Interventions will be provided for students in kindergarten through third grade who were not on track to meet year-end expectations on their mid-year assessments, students in fourth grade who were not on track to meet year-end expectations as identified by their reading teachers, and students in kindergarten through fourth grade who were not on track to meet year-end expectations as identified by their math teachers.  

Summer learning will require a student-teacher ratio of 16:1 or smaller, transportation and nutrition supports, assessments and student learning plans, evidence-based instructional resources, support for exceptional children, social-emotional learning supports, family engagement activities, and three full weeks of full-day instruction. Dr. Folger shared with the Board that the district hopes to offer this supplemental instruction in person, but that work will be done to provide virtual options for those who would be more comfortable that way.  

To close the meeting, OCS Coordinator of Athletics Greg Grantham presented to the Board updates on what a return to athletics may look like. Mr. Grantham shared that the North Carolina High School Athletics Association has provided limited guidance, saying that they encourage districts to follow National Federation, governor and NCDHHS guidelines. The NFHS recommends a three-phase, gradual return to sports activities, pre-screening participants each day, limiting participants, sanitizing and cleaning facilities and equipment and not sharing hydration stations.  

OCS has started a Return to Athletics Task Force which includes representatives from school administration, athletic directors, athletic trainers, safety and security, the health department and central administration. Their task is defined as protecting the public health of our students and staff through the development and consistent implementation of standardized procedures and protocols that align with current state and local guidelines.