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Currituck approves new attendance policy, welcomes new student members to Board of Education

By Summer Stevens

Two new student members of the Currituck Board of Education – Albert Mercado and Daniel Walker – were sworn in by Clerk of Currituck County Superior Court Ray Matusko at the board’s February 17 meeting.

Superintendent Matthew Lutz reported to the board about the strategic planning process set to begin next month. The county is partnering with the Mitchen Group for the strategic planning. “The Mitchen Group is a great fit for our county and our schools,” Lutz said. The planning will begin by creating a leadership and working group to facilitate the strategic planning across the county, which will guide the county for the next three to five years. Facilitated sessions and interviews will take place to share and discuss findings, which will lead to a consensus on the state of Currituck County Schools. The groups will then identify areas of strategic focus, and choose four to five areas to pursue. “One of the expected outcomes is to grow leaders across our county,” Lutz said. “It’s a great opportunity.”

Lutz then presented a new attendance policy for board approval. “We are struggling to get some of our students to attend in-person and online,” Lutz said. He requested a temporary modification to the attendance policy due to COVID-related challenges. Currently, for students doing virtual learning, there are four times students are to log in. If the student logs in only once, they are counted as attending for the entire day. Lutz is trying to change that.

Kindergarten through second grade will continue to follow the temporary rule for remote instruction. Students in grades three through twelve must contact the course instructor if they are not able to attend virtually or in-person, and parents must send in a note giving a reason for the absence. “We think it’s in the best interest of our students to make sure we are coming to class,” said Lutz.

Lutz informed the board that the district teachers and staff are doing everything they can for students, particularly students at academic risk. “We are making direct contact with students,” he said.

The board passed the temporary attendance requirements and Lutz shared that part of the summer agenda involves “taking a long look at our attendance policy.”

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