• Welcome Back Message - January 4, 2021

    Posted by Brent Anderson on 1/4/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Dear OCS families,

    Over the break and into the start of the new year, OCS has remained in close contact with our local health department. District and school administrators continue to monitor conditions, and are committed to providing a safe, healthy learning environment for our students and staff. Every day we can provide in-person instruction is a win.

    As classes resume tomorrow, we need our community’s help. Please continue to practice the three W’s. Wear a face cover. Wait/stay 6 feet apart from others not in your household. Wash your hands frequently. Also, please stay home if you are sick or have been identified as a close contact of anyone who may have tested positive for COVID-19.

    Even with these precautions, things can change quickly. If it becomes necessary to shift a classroom, grade level, or even an entire school, to an all-virtual setting, it is our goal to provide as much advance notice as possible.

    We understand the uncertainty our current situation brings and the challenges moving to all-virtual learning would mean for our families. Any change to an all-virtual setting would be in consultation with local health officials and would not be done lightly.

    OCS remains committed to the safety of our students and staff and will share additional updates with our school community, as necessary.

    Thanks for all you are doing to keep our community safe and healthy and have a great evening!

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  • OCS Continuing Wednesdays as Remote Days for Grades K-5 - December 17, 2020

    Posted by Jessica Coston on 12/23/2020 11:00:00 AM

    Given the rising number of COVID-19 cases not only in Onslow County, but across the state and nation, OCS announces that the district will continue using Wednesdays as remote student days for grades K-5 through the end of March 2021. The appropriate adjustment to the elementary school calendar has been added as part of a COVID-19 Update for the Board of Education’s regularly scheduled January 5, 2021 meeting.

    On November 10, the BOE approved a revised elementary calendar allowing the continued use of Wednesdays as remote student days through the month of December. Beginning January 5, 2021, students in grades K-5 were to begin in-person instruction five days a week.

    With this change, the following Wednesdays will be designated as Remote Student Days for grades K-5:

    • January 6, 13, 20, and 27
    • February 3, 10, 17, and 24
    • March 3, 10, 17, and 24

    Additionally, the following Early Release and Remote Professional Development days for grades K-5 will be converted to in-person instructional days:

    • Friday, January 15, 2021
    • Friday, February 19, 2021
    • Friday, March 12, 2021

    Students in grades 6-12 will continue under Plan B, with Cohort A students in-person on Monday/Tuesday, Cohort B students in-person on Thursday/Friday and all students remote on Wednesday.

    “We appreciate the work our educators and staff at all grade levels have done providing in-person and remote learning for our students and for going above and beyond to ensure their non-instructional needs are also being met,” says OCS Superintendent Dr. Barry Collins. “Those working with our elementary-aged children have been in the forefront as we transitioned these schools from Plan B to Plan A. We understand making this change may present challenges for some in our community. However, returning Wednesdays to Remote Student Learning Days for our students in grades K-5 recognizes the difficult challenge our teachers face, and addresses concerns we have received around moving to in-person instruction five days a week, considering the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Onslow County.” The remote student learning days will maintain additional time for cleaning, professional development, and instructional planning. District staff will continue working closely with the Onslow County Health Department to monitor conditions and any further adjustments will be made as needed. We appreciate the support and guidance of the Onslow County Health Director and her staff and look forward to continuing this relationship as we move forward with the current school year.

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    Posted by Jessica Coston on 11/13/2020

    Tuesday evening, during their regular November meeting, the OCS Board of Education approved revisions to the 2020-2021 elementary school calendar. These revisions only impact the elementary (K-5) calendar, and reflect ongoing concerns over COVID-19 and the transition of the district’s elementary schools to Plan A. The district is still awaiting information from the state regarding any potential plans for secondary grades (6-12).

    The Board addressed ongoing COVID-19 concerns by approving to return the three Wednesdays in December (December 2, 9 and 16) to Remote Learning Days. This revision will allow for the continuation of established cleaning, instructional and planning routines through the end of December.

    Other revisions reflect a return to the calendar established before the implementation of Plan B, and include:

    • Holidays, Annual Leave Days, and Teacher Workdays remain unchanged, with the school year ending for students on the same day as previously scheduled – Friday, May 28, 2021.
    • Wednesday, November 25, 2020 and Monday, April 5, 2021 remain Teacher Workdays (W). These have been designated as the two days required under legislation where teachers may take accumulated vacation leave.
    • Friday, February 19, 2021 returns to being a Remote Professional Development Day (RPD). This is a virtual day for students and half-day professional development workday for staff.
    • Friday, January 15 and Friday, March 12, 2021 have been converted to Early Release Professional Development Days (ERPD). Students will have in-person instruction on a three-hour early release with professional development for staff scheduled in the afternoon.

    A copy of the revised elementary school calendar is included with this release and has been posted on the district’s main website. This can be accessed by selecting the global calendar icon on the right side of the site.

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  • Elementary Plan A Reopening Information

    Posted by Jessica Coston on 9/21/2020

    Good evening, OCS Families - 

    This afternoon, the Onslow County Board of Education met to discuss last week’s announcement from Governor Cooper giving local school systems the ability to bring elementary students back for in-person instruction under Plan A beginning as early as October 5.

    Following their discussion, the board approved a staggered return for all elementary students currently participating in face-to-face instruction through Cohort A and Cohort B beginning the week of October 5.

    Kindergarten and 1st graders will return to in-person learning beginning the week of October 5. 2nd and 3rd graders will join them the week of October 19. 4th and 5th graders will be added back the week of November 2nd. During this transitional period, students will continue to receive in-person instruction Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesdays remaining remote for all students. 

    All students in Cohorts A and B will continue to go to school on their regular A-B day schedule until the date their grade level is scheduled to transition to Plan A.

    Beginning the week of November 30th, elementary students participating in face-to-face instruction will attend class Monday through Friday.

    Students in grades 6 through 12 will remain in Plan B until further notice.

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  • Reopening Update - September 17, 2020

    Posted by Jessica Coston on 9/17/2020

    Hello, OCS Families,

    This afternoon, Governor Cooper announced that no earlier than October 5 school systems across the state have the flexibility to bring their elementary students back following Plan A.

    District staff are reviewing the Governor's information and looking at how this decision will be implemented in OCS.

    More details will be shared in the coming days.

    Thank you, and have a great evening!

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  • OCS Response to Governor Cooper's Reopening Announcement - July 14, 2020

    Posted by Brent Anderson on 7/14/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Earlier today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that when they return in August, schools across North Carolina will be reopening under the state’s Plan B. This requires school systems to practice moderate social distancing, implement additional safety measures, and operate facilities and transportation at reduced capacity. 

    In response to the governor’s decision, Superintendent Dr. Barry Collins, shared, “We had been hoping for a full return to in-person instruction for our students next month. Reopening our schools under Plan B will certainly provide challenges for our staff and families. In OCS, the wellbeing of our students and staff is our highest priority. Now that we have definite direction on how we will resume instruction in the fall, district staff, school administrators, teachers, and support personnel will move forward and continue preparing for a safe and healthy start to the new school year.”  

    The district is currently considering two options for the implementation of Plan B. A link to information about the two options, and an opportunity to provide feedback on them, is available under the Onslow County Schools in the News section on the district’s main website. 

    Staff will be reviewing the details from the governor’s announcement and additional updates will be shared later in the week.

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  • Reopening Update - July 2, 2020

    Posted by Brent Anderson on 7/2/2020 5:00:00 PM
    Since closing our buildings to in-person instruction in March, school districts across North Carolina have been anticipating direction from state officials on how they will reopen this fall. In June, the state shared three different options for schools to consider in planning for a return to instruction: 
    • Plan A involves moderate social distancing, an increased focus on handwashing and use of hand sanitizer, more frequent cleaning of facilities – especially in high traffic/high touch areas – and modification of normal school routines to allow for more transition time along with health and temperature screenings.

    • Plan B requires schools to provide all the measures in Plan A, but to decrease occupancy of facilities and transportation to no more than 50% capacity. This would require districts to possibly consider limiting attendance in buildings on an alternating schedule, using some combination of in-person and virtual instruction and limiting numbers of students on buses.

    • Plan C would require school districts go with remote learning only. This would be the most drastic of the three plans and implemented by the state only if there were a need to suspend in-person instruction.
    In their guidance, state officials told school leaders to expect a decision on how they would be reopening by July 1. Yesterday, schools learned the state was still closely reviewing and monitoring COVID-19 data, and a reopening decision was going to be delayed for possibly up to two more weeks.
    We wanted to share this information and let you know district and school administrators continue to move forward with plans to resume instruction for our traditional calendar schools on August 17. It is essential to get students back into their classrooms with their teachers. As a district, we are committed to providing in-person instruction for our students in the safest environment possible. We also understand not all families may be comfortable with a return to the school buildings. Staff are finalizing plans to provide these families an option in the fall. More information on the new Onslow Virtual School will be shared next week.
    Custodial and maintenance staff have been working diligently to make sure our facilities are clean and that schools have all necessary social distancing signage and personal protective equipment. Instructional staff have been preparing plans for our Summer Jump Start program and developing learning resources which will benefit not only children in this program, but across the county. School administrators have been working with their staff on ways to modify school routines and building usage to meet the state requirements and recommendations.
    As we continue to move closer to the August 17 traditional school calendar start date, know we will remain in close contact to share the information our school community needs. Expect calls, emails, and texts with updates, and be sure to check out the OCS district website for a special section dedicated to sharing our reopening plans and other information. You can also keep up with OCS through our official social media platforms.
    Thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to prepare for the new school year.
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  • Superintendent's Message - June 26, 2020

    Posted by Brent Anderson on 6/26/2020 5:00:00 PM

    Dear OCS Families, 

    While we wait on word from the state about reopening, I know you have many questions about what school will look like when we come back in August. Regardless of the direction we receive from state officials, OCS remains committed to providing our families the best education in the safest environment possible. 

    Our staff have been hard at work cleaning our schools and developing processes to ensure a safe and healthy learning and work environment. Plans are being developed based on recommendations from trusted national, state, and local health sources – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and Onslow County Health Department. 

    We do not know exactly how things will look when we return in August. However, we do know some things will look different. 

    Our students can expect more education around proper handwashing and hygiene procedures. Staff will be helping children learn how to move around our schools with an increased focus on social distancing. There will most definitely be an emphasis on cleaning and sanitation processes, and some of our daily school routines will have to be modified. 

    We want our school community to have accurate and complete information. You can count on getting calls, emails, and texts throughout the reopening process, and we will keep you updated as more information becomes available over the coming weeks. 

    A safe return to school in August starts with understanding that healthy schools begin at home. Thank you for doing your part to protect the health of your family and our community. I appreciate your support and understanding as we plan for your child’s return. 

    Dr. Barry Collins, 

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