OCS Board of Education - Work Session
Date: June 28, 2021
Closed Session: 5:00 p.m. *Special Time
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 June 28, 2021 Work Session and Public Hearing on the OCS ESSER Spending Plan. 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>.
Caribbean American Heritage Month: This month, we honor National Caribbean American Heritage Month. In June, Caribbean Americans come together to celebrate their heritage through many activities such as dancing, sharing traditional meals, festivals, parades, concerts, and observing and appreciating their rich history.
OHS and CRHS Graduations: On Saturday, June 12 we celebrated the Class of 2021 at Orange High School and Cedar Ridge High School, where 311 and 226 high school seniors graduated respectively. When we add in the 11 graduates at Partnership Academy, the total number of OCS graduates in the Class of 2021 was 548! We couldn’t be happier for the Classes of 2021!
School Renaming: OCS Superintendent Dr. Monique Felder presented the timeline, events leading up to, and policies around reaching the time for the Board to vote on the new names for two schools--Cameron Park Elementary and C.W. Stanford Middle. sharing reasonings and rationales behind their recommendations, the board voted unanimously the make the following changes:
- Cameron Park will become River Park Elementary School.
- C.W. Stanford will become Orange Middle School.
- These changes will be effective August 15, 2021.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)/Mental Health Improvement Plan: The Board unanimously approved the new Social Emotional Learning (SEL)/Mental Health Improvement Plan, as presented by Ms. Sherita Cobb, title.
NBCT Salary: The Board enthusiastically supported the item that would allow for National Board Certified Teacher salaries (pay) to be provided for two instructional positions that do not directly meet the criteria of 70% of the employee’s time on the job being spent inside the classroom. (This affects two positions right now, and the Board will also welcome ways to extend other incentives, such as master’s pay, for certain positions.)
PUBLIC HEARING: ESSER FUND SPENDING PLAN
ESSER Public Hearing: Dr. Felder and Chief Finance Officer Rhonda Rath delivered the details of the ESSER spending plan for the remaining life of the federal grant.
Public comments were heard.
Several board members expressed comments and concerns, and gave robust feedback on the plan. This item will be an action item on the next meeting agenda.
2021-2022 Equity Plan: Dr. Dena Keeling, Chief Equity Officer for OCS, delivered a progress report on efforts to date, and the vision and six goals for where OCS hopes to be in 2025, with regard to equity. The presentation was very well received by the board.
PCR Testing for Student Athletes: Per recommendations from the NCHSAA, the OCHD, and additional experts, the board is in full support of weekly PCR screenings for fall athletes. Yet to be determined is whether these tests will be mandatory or voluntary. Parental consent will be required, and student athletes who are vaccinated would be exempt from COVID testing.
Relocation of Partnership Academy: The school board supports moving forward with hiring an expert architect to come up with detailed plans and cost estimates for meeting code requirements to relocate Partnership Academy to the Current Welcome Center on Corporate Drive.
Summer Scholars Academy Update: This week will mark the end of Session 1 of Summer Scholars Academy.
OCS Online Academy Update: Deputy Superintendent Dr. Kathleen A. Dawson reported that, as of the night of the work session, there were 61 applicants for the OCS Online Academy. She stated that, while the district may not make the mark of a minimum of 100 students enrolled, the cost to open and operate the 100% virtual school would be substantial. Families who have applied for enrollment will be notified by July 2. The deadline to apply to the school is midnight on June 30.
OTHER BOARD ACTION
- The first reading of the policy for the 2021-2022 School Board Meeting Calendar was approved. With dates tentatively set, work sessions will be held on the 2nd Monday of each month; regular meetings will be held on the 4th Monday of each month. *This is not without exceptions (esp., Feb., Mar., and July). *Dates and times are subject to change. Any changes to the calendar, once approved, must go back to the full board for consideration, before changes can occur. With this new schedule, information items will be received at work sessions. Action Items will be reserved for regular meetings.