OCS Board of Education - Work Session
Date: May 24, 2021
Closed Session: 5:30 p.m.
Open Session: 6:30 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 May 24, 2021 Work Session. 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>.
May 2021 OCS Equity Warrior: Mr. Matt Hunt from Orange High School is the Equity Warrior for this month. Mr. Hunt said he was very honored for this title. However, he stated, “A coach wins ‘Coach of the Year’ because of his players.” In that light, school administrators are successful because of teachers and staff. And while he credits his recognition as a school and team achievement, his students and staff are in the wings thanking him for his being an excellent leader and for helping to get some “quick wins” for the students who care so deeply about wanting positive change.
School and Community Relations - Board Engagement: After a brief discussion, the Board decided to continue to host virtual office hours into next year. Members are also planning monthly listening opportunities in which they will venture out into the communities served by OCS, especially in areas where historically, the board has not visited. A special calendar will also be set up and maintained to list school and district events/happenings so that board members can be “in the know” and attend when their schedules allow. (This will be an internal document.)
Fees for After-School Child Care: The fee scale for after school care will revert to those which were set prior to the pandemic. See slide below:
Update on Face Coverings: Please see each section below for a quick summary of the expectation in OCS.
Students participating in the Summer Scholars Academy will continue to follow the Strong Schools NC Toolkit requirements for face coverings in school. At this time, the “Toolkit” requires face coverings for schools operating under Plan A and Plan B, including recess.
OCS will be adhering to the current graduation plans which include limiting capacity, maintaining physical distancing and strongly encouraging masking. The Orange County Health Department is supportive of this plan.
Masking guidelines for sports continue to be driven by the NCHSAA, and are varied. Click Here for more details (Refer to Slides 8 and 9) from the Slide Deck.
Per the “Toolkit” and in collaboration with the Orange County Health Department the Attestation and Screening procedures for staff and students will no longer be required Effective June 1. Students and Staff are still encouraged to conduct their attestation procedures before leaving home.
OCS Online Academy: After questions from board members and a detailed discussion, the school board approved the opening of the OCS Online Academy, as presented by Deputy Superintendent Dr. Kathleen A Dawson. Provided there are at least 100 students to enroll, the district will move forward with this 100% virtual school that consists primarily of asynchronous, plus some synchronous learning. The board approved Option 1 for the OCS Online Academy, which would ensure the purchase of a program that would provide its own teachers of record, so as not to take away staff from existing teaching positions to support the virtual school. The board voted to move forward with planning and preparations, with the understanding that contracts for services which cost more than $500,000 be brought to the board for consideration, per policy. And if the numbers are not to par, or any additional concerns arise, the board will be notified. The student and family interest survey for enrollment in this virtual school will be readministered in the coming days, in light of 12-year-old children and older children being eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. This will result in more solid numbers on who and how many are seriously considering this option.
OCS Strategic Planning - The Four Goals: Members of the superintendent's cabinet and Superintendent Dr. Monique Felder presented the four draft goals of the OCS Strategic Plan - a plan that is being developed by leadership and the North Carolina School Boards Association. The board members had an opportunity to provide feedback on these goals. The board is very interested in the measurables, or categories of data to watch, during this process to determine the success the district will have for each goal. The next steps are for Goal Teams to be formed and for these teams to list appropriate objectives and action steps toward having progress in the areas of the four goals. To hear this portion of the presentation, start viewing the meeting recording at 2:19:24.
Interested individuals may sign up now to serve on a Goal Team. For more information, click here: www.rebrand.ly/strategicplanocs
Update on the Summer Scholars Academy: Approximately 1,386 students had enrolled in the Summer Scholars Academy program, as of May 24! Elementary sites will be New Hope, Grady Brown and Pathways. Gravelly Hill will serve middle grades students, and all three high schools will offer opportunities unique for credit recovery, and additional learning opportunities for high school students. OCS school leaders are working to finalize rosters. A sample daily schedule for the flow of the Summer Scholars Academy program is posted below:
Arrival & Breakfast
7:30 - 8:00
8:00 - 8:30
Math, Literacy, Science
8:30-9:15: Session 1
9:15-9:30: Movement Break
9:30-10:15: Session 2
10:15-10:30: Movement Break
10:30-11:15: Session 3
Lunch & Play
11:15 - 12:15
SEL Check In
12:15 - 12:30
12:30-2:30: Session 1
2:30-3:00: Break & Interactions
3:00-5:00: Session 2
(extended care through 6:00)
Parents can soon request to receive text messages for important announcements!
Orange County Schools has upgraded its communication platform from Blackboard Connect 5 to the Blackboard Mass Notification system! This will officially launch July 5. Not only will principals and district staff communication processes be streamlined, there will be more ways to reach families. Soon parents will be able to opt in to receiving text messages and indicating their preferences for all types of communication! Stay tuned. More details are coming soon.