Dare County Schools to stay online-only through at least March 18

The Dare County Board of Education has voted to remain in online-only learning for all grades through at least the third quarter of the 2020-21 school year, which ends on March 18.

Also at Tuesday’s special meeting, the school board approved changing to 20 percent the amount of a high school students final grade that an end-of-course test will count for most classes and will begin live video streaming of their meetings in March.

In a letter to parents on Wednesday, Dare County Schools Superintendent John Farrlley provided more details from Tuesday’s special meeting.

Good afternoon Dare County Families,
 
As you are surely aware- at the January 12 Special Called Meeting of the Dare County Board of Education, the Board voted by a 5-2 margin to remain in Remote Learning through the 3rd marking period (March 18). 

 
During the meeting, Dr. Sheila Davies (The Dare County Director of Health and Human Services Department) shared an update on the vaccine that will eventually be provided to DCS staff. Dr. Davies did not share a definitive DCS staff vaccination timeline and cited several factors that make this situation very fluid. We are aware of reports that some surrounding counties have recently provided the vaccine to teachers; please keep in mind that while every county should be following the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services roll out protocol, counties vary greatly in supply and demand. I have expressed our high interest in making the first shot available asap, and I do believe that Dr. Davies is making every effort to advocate for Dare County citizens. 
 
Following the Special Called Meeting, the Board held its January business meeting. During this meeting:
 
(1.) The Board voted to begin broadcasting all DCS Board of Education meetings through live video feeds on our YouTube channel. The first live video broadcast will be on March 9, 2021, at 5:00 pm at FFHS.
 
(2.) The Board also voted to amend Policy 3410: Testing and Assessment Program (attached). The amended change is as follows: For all students, excluding English Learner students in their first year in a U.S. school and students following the Occupational Course of Study Pathway, the results of EOC tests and CTE State Assessments and locally developed final exams will count as 25 20 percent of a student’s final grade in each high school course for which there is an EOC test or CTE State Assessment. 
 
(3.) I informed the Board that our leadership team has a high interest in exploring potential summer programs (Ex. Jumpstart, academic, enrichment, arts, clubs, intramurals, etc.) for Dare County Schools students as we build our 2021-2022 public school budget. More information will be provided regarding possible opportunities for families and their students over the next 3-4 weeks. We will be providing interest surveys to staff and families.
 
Lastly, on a different topic- we are going to begin forming a district calendar committee that will meet in February with the intent to create school calendars for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years. Our goal will be to bring recommended calendars to the Board of Education for approval in the March 9, 2021 business meeting. If any parents are interested in serving on the calendar committee- please email me directly ([email protected]) by January 20. My goal is to have at least one parent representative from each school. The committee will be made up of school, district, parent, and student representatives. I would anticipate facilitating one (90-minute) virtual meeting and then sending out drafts to comment on in February. A second meeting may be needed depending upon committee needs/progress.
 
I’m very aware of the stress you are all under and have been under since last March. Better days are ahead. Thank you for your support and patience in these very trying times.
 
My best,
 
John

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