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Update from the February 22 School Board Work Session

OCS Board of Education Work Session Update

Date: February 22, 2021, 6:00 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 February 12, 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>.

Meeting Agenda

Link to Presentation Slides

Link to Meeting Recording

Black History Month:  Schools in Orange County were invited to share lessons and activities in celebration of this month. The Board viewed a video clip, submitted by New Hope Elementary School. In the clip, students described the importance of Black History Month and what it means to them.  New Hope Black History Month Video

Screen shot from New Hope Black History Month Video

Equity Warrior:  Xavier Adams mixes the history of the United States with understanding the world now and where we are today. He uses a broad approach to the subject of African American studies where students explore everything from history, to the arts, to theory, to current culture, and he does it all in this language that students relate to.  The students are participating, the content is engaging, and the classroom environment is one of trust.  In the equity world we call that Culturally Relevant Teaching, but in the education world, we just call that Great Teaching and that is why Xavier Adams is this month’s Equity Warrior.  

To read more about Xavier Adams and the African American Studies course at OHS, click here.*

*(This article includes a special glimpse into a recent event with NC Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, which Xavier Adams arranged for his students and OCS staff who were interested in attending.)

Slide from Equity Warrior feature

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month: Career and technical education prepares our students to succeed in academics and careers in both established and emerging industries and empowers all students to be successful citizens, workers and leaders in our global economy.

Slide on CTE Month

School Renaming:  The Orange County School Board voted 5-2 Monday night to rename C.W. Stanford Middle School, so that it is in line with Policy 1030, the policy on Equity in education in OCS. Following a recap of research on school names, and the review of a timeline that reflected the educational landscape in Orange County from the 1940s to 1970s, the board members spoke to their opinions, also reflecting those of the citizens they represent, on the matter and then cast their votes. 

A discussion followed pertaining to the next steps and the preferred process for generating a new name for the school. Several options were presented by Board Attorney Eva Dubuisson. This final plan (process) will be brought to the board for approval at its next meeting. 

Board members agree that school committees for both C.W. Stanford and Cameron Park Elementary should be established. The board also agrees that members of the public need to be able to weigh in, and the board--not the superintendent--will make the decision on the selection of a new name, based upon several popular options, which will come out through the renaming process.

Teacher Updates: Teachers from the field who have been in the classroom since October, as well as teachers who have recently just returned to the classroom for orientations for grades 2-12 under Plan B shared their experiences, successes and challenges. Each educator shared creative solutions on how to continue having successes on-site, moving forward.

Return-to-School Video: We couldn’t be more excited to welcome our students in grades 2-12 as they started returning last week for our two-week orientation as we acclimate students to our safety procedures and for many this is their first time back in our school buildings since last year. We’ve been preparing for our in-person students' return for months and want to show families what our safety processes look like and acknowledge the entire OCS team as we welcome you back to our school buildings and classrooms. 

Return to School Video for In-person OCS Students                Spanish version

Money Matters: Plan B budget items were unanimously approved. These call for additional Teacher Assistants at every school, at least from March through June, as well as an iPad refresh for kindergarteners.

OCS Strategic Plan:  Leanne Winner and Nancy Black with the NC School Board

Association provided an update on the five-year Strategic Plan, which is under construction. They also provided a road map to and timeline for its completion. This Strategic Plan will be the “North Star” that will guide direction and leaders every step of the way for the next five years, as OCS works to meet goals and provide the best possible education for students in Orange County.

Slide on the Strategic Plan timeline