Board Updates from the October 26 Work Session

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 October 26 VIDEO>

In a Work Session of the Orange County School Board of Education Monday, October 26, OCS recognized the Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year as a “fitting” part of National Principals Appreciation Month. This “dynamic duo” from Hillsborough Elementary School — Principal Kreider and Assistant Principals Nagy — took the top honors, respectively.

Following the approval of the consent agenda, the Board received a glowing audit report with zero findings from Dale Smith of Anderson Smith and Wike PLLC. Smith said that the audit was “the cleanest audit that a school system can receive,” and he praised Rhonda Rath, Chief Finance Officer, and the team of staff in the Finance Department for sound fiscal practices and controls, not only for FY ending June 30, 2019, but also for several consecutive years prior.

In other matters, the Board discussed and provided feedback on items related to Reopening Schools in Plan B. First and foremost, OCS presented evidence that “We are Ready!” for the reopening of schools for EC separate settings & Pre-K students on October 27, 2020.

Deputy Superintendent Kathleen A. Dawson presented the Plan B hybrid learning model as well as three offerings — or options — for students who prefer the Virtual Academy as opposed to in-person instruction.

Elementary, middle and high school principals presented their schedules for staggered return and orientation for January when K-12 returns for in-person learning.

Dr. Chris Gammon, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, outlined the differences in the instructional day under plan B, as well as a model for how the classrooms will be run (i.e., a mini-lesson followed by a release to independent practice, small groups and conferences, and then a share session and discussion on homework assignments.)

The meeting closed with an overview from Jason Johnson, Executive Director of Student Support and School Improvement. Johnson reviewed the process for considering a shift from Plan B, back to Plan C, which involves policy, metrics, guidance from the Orange County Health Department and ABC Collaborative, and several other factors. Rebecca Crawford from the OCHD stated that OCS has a “solid plan of slow and gradual reopening.”

As the meeting expired, Public Information and Community Engagement Officer Melany Stowe gave an overview of the protocols for communication to staff and families under Plan B in the event a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

The next Board of Education meeting is Monday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m.

Home to more than 7,500 students. We embrace cultural diversity, educate students’ to their fullest potential, and support our community.