News from the Board -- March 17, 2021

Posted by Jessica Wells on 3/17/2021 4:10:00 PM

 

On Wednesday, March 17, the Onslow County Board of Education held a special meeting at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center to discuss the transition of OCS middle and high schools from Plan B to Plan A.  

Dr. Barry Collins, OCS superintendent, opened the meeting by sharing with the Board that there has been a change in legislation that would allow for the possibility of transitioning grades 6-12 to Plan A. He walked through some of the specifics of Session Law 2021-4, which requires all districts in the state to open elementary schools under Plan A and allows for districts to decide whether to open middle and high schools under Plan A or Plan B.  

OCS elementary schools have already been open under Plan A for several months, while grades 6-12 have been attending school in cohorts under Plan B. Dr. Collins explained that the main difference between Plan B and Plan A is the transition from required social distancing to social distancing to the greatest extent possible. All other COVID-19 precautions, including wellness checks, face coverings, emphasized hand hygiene and limited non-essential visitors are still in place under Plan A. Session Law 2021-4 also states that the governor still reserves the right to close local schools as needed if cases rise and that districts must continue to provide a virtual option for families.  

Dr. Collins requested that the Board approve a transition for all 6-12 students to Plan A beginning April 6, 2021.  

After discussion of how to best support teachers during the transition back to 5-days-per-week instruction, the Board amended the original motion to transition grades 6-12 to Plan A to include the addition of two teacher workdays on April 21 and May 12.  

The Board also discussed the logistics of returning all students to school full time, including cleaning and sanitation, transportation, meal preparation and more. Staff assured the Board that all possible precautions would be taken to keep students safe and ensure that learning environments will be healthy for all staff and students.  

After all discussion and questions asked of district staff, the Board unanimously approved the transition of grades 6-12 to Plan A and the addition of two teacher workdays.  

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