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News from the Board -- April 6, 2021
Posted by Jessica Wells on 4/7/2021 11:30:00 AM
The Onslow County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on April 6, 2021 at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Agenda items for this meeting included a presentation on the CTE program, the 2021-2022 calendar, and redistricting for Clear View Elementary School.
First on the agenda was a presentation from CTE Director Chris Bailey, who shared with the Board information about the CTE program and where it hopes to go in the future. Bailey shared that CTE’s goals include providing students with quality career training to select their right career path and providing a “Grow Your Own” workforce development pipeline for businesses and industries in Onslow County and surrounding areas.
Bailey shared a personal story about his own daughter’s experience with CTE that, given the number of career choice changes his daughter made in high school, saved him upwards of $250,000. He said that had his daughter made those same changes after starting college, it could have cost his family a lot of time and money. One of the goals of CTE, he said, it to allow students the opportunity to explore career choices before entering post-secondary education to avoid potentially costly changes to college majors and career paths.
There are currently more than 9,800 students enrolled in CTE classes in Onslow County. Those students earned a total of 5,107 career credentials in the 2019-2020 school year alone. To grow those numbers, Bailey said the CTE program hopes to up recruitment through marketing and program expansions. Robotics and HVAC programs will be introduced in Fall 2021, and advanced manufacturing, mechatronics, and heavy equipment operations will hopefully be added in the near future.
Next to the podium was OCS Chief Communications Officer Brent Anderson, who requested that the Board approve the proposed 2021-2022 school calendar. Anderson said that the calendar proposal was shared with the Board, school administrators, and staff prior to the request to approve. He also shared that the decision has been made to delay the approval of a 2022-2023 calendar, pending potential legislative changes that would affect calendar flexibility. The Board unanimously approved the 2021-2022 calendar draft as it was presented.
In the meeting’s last order of business, OCS Chief Operations Officer Steve Myers took to the podium to present the final proposal for redistricting for Clear View Elementary School. Myers shared that staff had reached out to the community in a variety of ways over the last few weeks to collect feedback on redistricting plans. Staff made phone calls, sent emails, received emails, held community meetings, etc.
Given the feedback received from the community, Myers suggested two changes to the previously recommended redistricting plan. He recommended grandfathering in those who will be in 5th grade in the 2022-2023 school year, when CVES opens. This would allow those students to stay at their current schools to finish elementary school. He also suggested moving the 15 students on Farmington Drive back to the Heritage Elementary district, after discovering that that area is closer to HES and would experience shorter transportation times going to HES. The Board unanimously approved the redistricting plans, including the recommended changes.
Dr. Barry Collins, OCS superintendent, finished the meeting with his comments, saying he is excited to finally have all students back in our buildings at one time. He encouraged everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and thanked staff for the work they have done over the past year and continue to do to keep our schools open and running smoothly.