Board Work Session (August 24) Summary

The intent of this publication is to provide OCS staff, families, and the community an update on the highlights from OCS Board of Education’s monthly meetings and work sessions. This update is not the official minutes of the board meeting. The official minutes and policies are located at “Board” which can be accessed on Orange County Schools’ website at <link here>.

<Link to Board of Education Work Session August 24 VIDEO>

<link to presentation slides>

Report on First Week of School

“While there were some challenges, based on stakeholder feedback, overall, it was a good week. We appreciate everyone’s efforts, patience, and grace,” said Dr. Monique Felder.

Attendance: Enrollment is slightly lower than last year at this time. Schools and the district will continue to review attendance data. Link to Attendance Expectations for Families

Meal Distribution: The OCS Child Nutrition Department closed the week delivering 1,485 lunches to students on Friday. The number of completed free and/or reduced lunch forms for the 2020–2021 school year is approximately 50% less than what we received last year at this time. The district is working on several strategies to increase completion of the forms. <more information>

Technology: With the exception of recently enrolled students, all OCS students have a technology device (iPad or laptop). The Technology Department received 1,135 new help desk tickets between August 10 and August 18 and closed 1,249 tickets. OCS staff should continue to provide student and staff technology needs to their DLC.

Internet Access: There are a number of tech issues we can address and we are but there is one major issue that is out of our control. We cannot provide access to the internet where there is no service available.

As the map shows in purple, 4, 292 households in Orange County do not have the ability to connect to the Internet. On the coral colored map, the gray areas have Internet access, but the speed is less than 25 megabytes per second (mbps). 25mbps is ideal for 1–2 devices checking email and surfing the Internet.

“We need assistance from our government officials to resolve this issue. With the state of the art universities, hospitals, and the Research Triangle Park in our backyard, there is no excuse why our district can’t have access to the technology required to prepare our students to be globally competitive in the future labor market. We appreciate the advocacy of the Board on this matter. In the meantime, we will continue to do our best by providing the necessary professional development and support to our staff and families.”
Dr. Kathleen A. Dawson, Deputy Superintendent

Professional Development: Dr. Chris Gammon, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction provided updates regarding pre-service professional development and upcoming opportunities including the new online curriculum, SEL, teaching remotely, and developing parent resources/tutorials.

Human Resources Update: Current teacher vacancies were provided by Teresa Cunningham-Brown, Chief Human Resources Officer (slide 15) <link to presentation slides>. The district also continues to monitor and implement strategies to increase the number of minority and bilingual staff.

Supervised Learning Labs: In order to meet the needs of our working families, particularly those with low incomes, facing greater health risks, and families who face inequities and access to educational and health resources, OCS will begin phasing in Supervised Learning Labs (SLL). This process is also part of the process to prepare OCS for returning to school under Plan B.

With a focus on equity, the Priority 1 students for the OCS SLL will include K-5 students receiving services via McKinney-Vento and ESSA. Priority 2 students will include K-5 students receiving free and/or reduced lunch. The OCS Board approved proceeding with Phase 2 of the SLL with no fee for Priority 1 students and a weekly fee of $47 for Priority 2 students.

YMCA Supervised Learning Lab at OCS Welcome Center: There are spaces available for OCS students in grades K-8 and the YMCA offers a sliding fee scale based on need. <link to more information>

First Day Photos: OCS families and staff were encouraged to share their first day of school photos via social media. Here are a few. See the rest using #OCSfirstday on Twitter and Facebook.