Summer learning programs, school calendar and audit discussed at Dare Board of Ed meeting
The Dare County Board of Education met for their regular monthly meeting on May 13. Audio of the meeting was live streamed via the Dare County Schools website.
Before the board heard from Donna Winborne about their 2018-19 audit, Superintendent Dr. John Farrelly updated everyone on graduation plans and the newly approved House and Senate bills regarding funding and policy changes.
The General Assembly has allocated close to $70 million to support elementary summer learning programs, Farrelly reported. DCS has yet to hear about the expectations of these programs, but they will target students in kindergarten through fourth grade.
The programs are set to include a targeted reading intervention for kindergarten through fourth grade, as well as a math intervention for fourth graders. For the first time, students entering fourth grade in the fall will also have to take a reading assessment.
DCS must submit their summer learning to the Department of Public Instruction by June 30, and this year they are also required to submit a remote learning plan to DPI and the general assembly.
“I think that the remote learning plan in Dare County is a model,” Farrelly remarked. Board members agreed that the DCS remote learning plan would rank top in the state for well executed plans.
As for the school calendar, public school students will return to school on August 17. Farrelly said DCS has added five remote learning days to the calendar, three in the first semester and two in the second.
“We will have flexibility with those days,” Farrelly said. For example, remote learning days could supplement for time out of school due to events such as hurricanes or another surge of COVID-19.
Five additional instructional days were added to the calendar as well, as per the new law. However, teachers are still required to work 250 days. “We’ll have to get creative,” Farrelly said
The board unanimously agreed to adopt the school calendar for 2020-21.
As for the audit, Winborne was present on the call to discuss the findings from the 2018-19 school year.
Winborne relayed that the district received an unmodified opinion and had about $235,000 in their unassigned fund balance as of June 2019. There was a $561,000 net decrease in fund balance, a $71,000 net decrease in school food service and a $29,000 net decrease in child care.
The one finding Winborne brought to the attention of the board was with the state public school fund Concussion Awareness Act. She reported that Manteo Middle and Manteo High schools had eight collective unsigned or missing forms for student athletes.
“It’s not very many in context, but because of the nature of this compliance test, we have to report exactly what we see,” Winborne said.
After the audit presentation finished up and the board had a brief discussion on the findings, member David Twiddy motioned to approve receiving the 2018-19 audit as presented and all were in favor.