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News from the Board -- April 26, 2022Posted by Jessica wells on 4/27/2022 1:45:00 PM
On Tuesday, April 26, the Onslow County Board of Education held a workshop meeting at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center to discuss the 2022-2023 budget proposal and to hold a closed session regarding the performance of an employee.
First on the agenda was a presentation from OCS Chief Operations Officer Steve Myers, who discussed the 2022-2023 Capital Outlay Budget. The capital outlay budget covers the district’s expenses related to maintenance, transportation, paving, roofing, furniture, safety and security and more. Myers began his presentation by sharing with the Board and executive staff that the age of all OCS facilities ranges from 1934 to 2022. He also shared that the district is responsible for maintaining 507 buildings as well as 1,553 acres of land. The district’s current assets equal $777,350,659.
Under the current funding agreement with county government, Myers said that the district would be receiving $4.2 million for next year’s capital outlay budget. That funding, along with other revenue sources, would bring the district to a total capital outlay budget of $4,247,120.
This year, Myers said the district received over $29 million worth of capital requests from schools and departments across the county. Requests were prioritized by greatest need, requirements by law, instructional and security needs, and the timeline needed. From there, the requests were filtered until there were $4.2 million worth of work to be done. Some highlights of the work to be done with next year’s capital outlay budget include roofing projects, fire alarm upgrades, painting three schools, new playgrounds for three schools, and stadium lighting.
Next, Chief Finance Officer Jeff Hollamon presented the proposed local current expense budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The local current expense budget provides funding for salaries, insurance, academic programming, technology, cultural arts, utilities, exceptional children and more. Hollamon said that the total proposed budget for 2022-2023 equals $76.4 million, with $1.1 million coming from fines and forfeitures, $7.4 million coming from the appropriated fund balance, $5 million coming from disaster recovery funds, and $62.9 million coming from the county’s tax revenue. Going into the new fiscal year, the superintendent’s budget priorities of instruction, mental health, safety and security will remain the same.
A major focus of the 2022-2023 budget proposal is making investment in staff. OCS realizes the importance of recruiting and retaining qualified staff members to serve the mission of the district. The proposal includes an increase of the local salary supplement for certified staff from 10 percent to 12 percent, as well as increases to the salary step schedule for classified employees.
To remain within budget and support budgetary priorities, Hollamon said that $2 million worth of requests did not make it into the final budget. On May 3, the Board will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed budget and will vote on the budget later that day.
Last on the agenda was a closed session, in which the Board discussed the performance and qualifications of an employee.
News from the Board -- April 5, 2022Posted by Jessica wells on 4/7/2022 12:45:00 PM
The Onslow County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on April 5 at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Agenda items included the presentation of the 2022-2025 AIG Plan, the award of architectural services for the Trexler Middle renovation, and COVID-19 protocols. Board member Jeff Hudson was absent.
Following a Good News Spotlight segment, which recognized science students, communication staff, and schools who were awarded for their support of military families, and a public comment period with two speakers, Dr. Michael Elder took to the podium to talk about the AIG program.
AIG stands for Academically or Intellectually Gifted, and the OCS AIG program aims to provide support and differentiation for students identified as “gifted.” The plan for the AIG program is developed through district AIG specialist input, leadership feedback, parental feedback, surveys, and parent and student focus groups.
The proposed themes for the 2022-2025 AIG Plan include: opportunities, connections, and support. Dr. Elder said that through the development and implementation of the plan, the AIG staff hope to accurately identify students in need of differentiation and provide instructional services to meet their unique needs. The team plans to do this by emphasizing identification, programming, differentiation, professional development of staff, partnerships with community resources, and program accountability.
The Board voted to approve the 2022-2025 AIG Plan.
Chief of Operations Steve Myers was next to present, as he brought to the Board a request to move forward with negotiations regarding the Trexler Middle School renovation. Myers said the plan was to repurpose parts of the old Richlands Elementary School for use by Trexler, and to update parts of the existing Trexler Middle, including the traffic pattern. Staff advertised an RFQ and reviewed the two packets received. After a review process, it was determined that Smith Sinnett Architecture was the most qualified team.
The Board approved staff to proceed with negotiations with Smith Sinnett Architecture for the project. If a reasonable agreement cannot be reached, another architectural firm will be consulted.
Lastly, in accordance with Session Law 2021-130 - Senate Bill 654, the Board fulfilled its requirement to revisit COVID-19 protocols each month. No changes were made to existing practices.