From: DARE COUNTY SCHOOLS <email@example.com>
Date: September 16, 2021 at 11:29:23 AM EDT
Subject: DCS Updates
A message from DARE COUNTY SCHOOLS
Good morning DCS families-
I have three (3) updates to share with parents/guardians:
(1.) Revised School Calendar:
The Dare County Board of Education approved a revised 2021- 2022 school calendar at the September 14 business meeting. November 2 (Election Day) will now be an optional teacher workday (no school for students). The Dare County Board of Elections will be using school facilities on election day. That day will not be made up as DCS has exceeded the instructional day requirements and there is little maneuverability in the calendar. See attached revised calendar.
(2.) Principal Preparation Program:
The senior leadership team has been working for the past 2 years on a project focused on providing a Master's Degree Program in School Administration for DCS teachers who are interested in pursuing a career in administration. Our team has collaborated with NC State University as a partner on a grant through The NC Principal Fellows Program that is fully funded!
DCS teachers can apply to NC State University for a Master's in School administration. NC State has been recognized as having one of the top Principal Preparation programs in the country. Tuition for the candidates is FREE. Further, candidates in the program will get a PAID yearlong internship (beginning in fall 2022). This is a wonderful opportunity for our teachers!
(3.) USED Approves North Carolina’s ARP Plan:
The U.S Department of Education announced the approval of North Carolina’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) on September 13: https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-approves-north-carolinas-plan-use-american-rescue-plan-funds-support-k-12-schools-and-students-distributes-remaining-12-billion-state
North Carolina Plan highlights include:
Returning to In-Person Learning in 2021
Addressing the Academic Impact of Lost Instructional Time
Investing in Expanded Afterschool Programs
Staffing to Support Students’ Needs
DCS has been receiving some inquiries regarding whether COVID-19 funding is dependent upon implementing a masking mandate. There is no correlation- funding is not dependent on a masking mandate. The North Carolina Plan that has been approved is centered on the “Lighting Our Way Forward: NC”s Guidebook for Reopening Public Schools” and “The Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit”. You can find the complete NC plan here: https://oese.ed.gov/files/2021/06/North-Carolina-ARP-ESSER-State-Plan.pdf
ARP Impacts on DCS: As we have discussed in multiple public meetings over the past 15 months, DCS has received several different COVID-19 related funding allotments (Coronavirus relief fund, State COVID-19 Supplemental, ESSER 1, ESSER II, ESSER III, GEER, and CARES Act). The total is $9,343,113. Of that figure, approximately 2 million dollars has been spent to date including about 1 million dollars for the mandated (by law) summer school program. ESSER II and ESSER III funding has been the most recent allotted funds- those funds run through 2023 (ESSER II) and 2024 (ESSER III). Attached is a summary of the total DCS COVID funding through 9/15/21.
The DCS plan developed by our schools is aligned with the NC State Board of Education plan and has been approved by NCDPI. DCS's strategic plan for addressing learning loss as a result of COVID-19 has three major components:
1. Personnel (10 interventionists, 10 curriculum support/Literacy or Math Specialists, 3 School-based MTSS Coordinators, and 1 school psychologist) to support intensive instructional/behavioral support and intervention for students in all schools; curriculum support through literacy/math specialists to work directly with students and staff to increase capacity in these core areas. We believe that our investment in teachers can make the biggest difference in impacting student learning loss.
2. Programs-- Summer Learning, Curriculum-aligned online programs for screening and progress monitoring.
3. Professional Learning to support teachers in becoming more proficient in differentiated teaching, strategies for addressing needs of special populations, and literacy strategies across the curriculum. Dare County Schools will assess students using current accountability measures provided by the state as well as adding an additional layer of support for teachers through using literacy and math, formative assessment screeners. Progress monitoring will help educators meet student's academic needs by differentiating instruction in the classroom. Classroom teachers and specialists will use assessment data to address learning gaps accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your support!
2021-2022 Academic Calendar REVISED 9.14.pdf
Total Dare COVID Funding as of September 9 2021.pdf
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