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Orange County Schools Board of Education discusses redistricting, teacher pay

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Orange County Schools Board of Education Chairperson Carrie Doyle listens to public comments during the board's meeting on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022.

The Orange County Schools Board of Education met Monday to discuss its updated redistricting plan, teacher pay supplements and AI policy.

What's new?

  • The board recognized the district's 13 principals in honor of Principal Appreciation Day on May 1. 
    • “These principals are fostering collaboration and managing limited resources strategically in order to optimize teaching and learning experiences,” Kevin Smith, OCS’s chief public information officer, said.
  • OCS will host its first annual Health and Wellness Fair on May 4 at Orange High School on the practice field to honor Mental Health Awareness Month. The event will provide resources, activities and information about mental health and wellness.
  • The board approved a resolution requesting control over school calendars — especially start and end dates — be returned to local school boards.
    • State law dictates both the start and end dates of the school year. The board wanted to the district to have more flexibility, especially for the high school schedule — which can be impacted by a shortened or broken-up first semester

What's changed?

  • Rhonda Rath, the district's chief finance officer, introduced the Legislated Additional Teacher Supplement, which will be allotted to OCS certified teachers and instructional support staff. The supplement will include a one-time additional stipend of $1,027 for the 2023-24 school year. The board approved it unanimously.  
  • The board accepted the resignation of Jennifer Moore, a board member and candidate in a May 14 runoff election to keep her seat.
    • According to board Chair Anne Purcell, Moore resigned due to health reasons.
    • “I’d just like to say that I have really enjoyed working with my colleague Dr. Moore these past four years,” board member Carrie Doyle said. “She’s a lady of great character and great attention to students and staff, and out of respect for her wishes, I move that we accept her resignation.”
  • Chief operations officer Dwayne Foster presented an updated redistricting plan and its timeline for the 2025-26 school year.
    • The new timeline, which was created in February, will be feedback-driven and focused on improved accuracy and efficiency. The plan will also include staff, who will seek out and share reassignment information, Foster said.
    • The plan will include the creation of a Redistricting Administrative Team, which will support background and planning work for the redistricting process.
    • Additionally, the plan will include a Redistricting Advisory Council, which will feature three representatives — parents or staff — from each elementary school. 
    • The full redistricting plan overview will be brought before the board to obtain approval in May, Foster said. 
    • Board member Sarah Smylie said it would be helpful to think about all the different stakeholders who will experience redistricting, such as students, staff members and families when goal setting.
      • “It’s not just deciding where the lines are, it’s the change management of it," she said. 
  • The district policy committee shared the recommendation that OCS build a District Staff Committee on Artificial Intelligence, which would help build policies related to AI.
    • “It’s certainly something new to any of the educators across the nation in how to effectively use that in students’ instruction and learning, and how to embrace it for students’ learning, instead of just fighting against it all the time,” Ryan Miller, OCS executive director of information and instructional technology, said.

What's next?

  • The board will hold a joint meeting on April 25 with the Orange County Board of County Commissioners and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education at 7 p.m. at the Whitted Human Services Building in Hillsborough. Its next regular business meeting will be on May 6 in the Whitted Building.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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