OCS Board of Education Special Called Meeting Update
Date: April 6, 2021 - 4:00 p.m.
The intent of this communication is to provide OCS staff, families, and the community the highlights from OCS Board of Education’s monthly meetings and work sessions. This update is for the Board’s April 6, 2021 Special Called Meeting. This update is not the official minutes of the meeting. The official minutes from the work session can be accessed via Orange County Schools’ website at <link here>.
AIG Information Session: Sarah Mayle, Student Talent Development Facilitator, and three OCS AIG Specialists gave an overview of the AIG Program in Orange County Schools. The presentation included information about identification and screening of students, state regulations, programming, service and delivery models, data on students served, next steps and a call to action to ensure equitable delivery of services for all students in the future. Noteworthy is that the OCS AIG Program earned an award from NCDPI recently for its forward-focused model that involves a plan to refine and perfect the AIG Plan in OCS. The three AIG Specialists assisting Ms. Mayle were Pamela Francis (Cameron Park Elementary), Cindy Sinicrope (Hillsborough Elementary) and Elizabeth Liner (Gravelly Hill Middle). The board members requested additional data to include all students touched by AIG Specialists--whether they are identified as AIG, or they are “nurtured” so that they receive enrichment and differentiated lessons--though they may not have tested into the program. Students can be tested every two years for the AIG Program; testing does not end in elementary school (third grade). Additional opportunities are afforded to students who exhibit AIG potential. Data shows that the current number of AIG-identified students is NOT being served proportionally across demographic lines. That is why the board wants to see numbers that reflect every child, who is “touched” by AIG in some way.
OCS Choice Schools -- Re-imagined: OCS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Dawson shared possible choice school options for families that were being proposed for exploration to begin in Fall 2022. The presentation included a brief overview of the current offerings, followed by the new, enhanced and expanded options that research shows can better prepare students for a future that will provide jobs and careers not even yet imagined. Concerned about the timing, mostly, the school board members decided that they are not ready to take action to approve the exploration of these options at this time. Other concerns were the looming summer learning programs, literacy and learning loss, and the thousands of students returning to school campuses this week for the first time in a long time.
FY 21-22 Budget - Public Hearing: Executive Director of Finance Rath presented the Superintendent’s Budget (proposed) for FY 21-22. After a detailed explanation of the line items, fund balance, ESSER Funds, and an anticipated decline in enrollment, Ms. Rath stated that she had enough information/feedback from the school board members at this time. The next step is to bring back a budget on April 12, which the Board can adopt and will present to the County Commissioners for their consideration for FY 21-22. Ms. Rath said further that the budget presented at this meeting was based on the projected revenues, expenditures, ADM and hope that the county commissioners will hold their funding for FY 21-22 at the same level as the current school year.