We all have moments in life that make us who we are.
Curtis Jones was a black high school junior raised in Griffin, a small Georgia mill town. For him, that moment was when his French teacher was absent.
Let’s set the stage. Jones grew up a poor, second-class citizen in the segregated South in a house across the street from the very railroad tracks that separated the community, black from white. His best friend didn’t make it through 8th grade. Others didn’t make it through life at all.
Though his hometown was segregated, the schools there were desegregated in 1971, his sophomore year. For the first time in his life, he had access to many of the same privileges the white kids had.
Those who were willing to break away, attend school, and learn, he said, they were able to break away from the cycle of poverty.
“It’s the hardest thing to get out of,” he said. “Even some middle-class families struggle with it.”
The substitute teacher couldn’t speak French. To pass the time, she engaged her students in conversation.
After class, she took young Curtis aside and asked him what he wanted to do after high school.
“I don’t know,” he recalled saying. “I think I’d like to fly airplanes. And she said, I know a guy who may be able to help you join the Air Force.”
That guy was U.S. Rep. Jack Flynt (D-Ga.). She had been his teacher. He lived in Griffin and Jones was invited out to his house that summer.
Jones impressed the congressman, who agreed to nominate the young man for a service academy appointment.
That’s one thing congressmen can do for their constituents—hand out service academy appointments. Attending a service academy is a golden ticket to life. Just as prestigious as any Ivy League school, service academies train young men and women to become leaders in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, fully paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Not only do they have more clout than non-service academy officers, once they leave active duty, they have a bright future in whatever second career they choose.
It was a little late to apply for an appointment, Rep. Flynt told him. He had no more Air Force Academy appointments to give out. But he did have some left for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Young Mr. Jones became West Point Cadet Jones, then 2nd Lt. Jones, until 20 years later, he retired as Lt. Col. Jones. He started as an infantry officer and later became a comptroller, serving in the Army during a time of rebuilding following the Vietnam War. Later, he became a Senior ROTC instructor at Albany State University in Georgia, teaching young men and women to become Army officers like himself. While teaching ROTC courses to fledgling officers, Jones caught the education bug, and after leaving the Army, he started his second career, the one that eventually resulted in the title he now holds: Dr. Jones.
Jones never did fly airplanes, but after retiring from the Army, he found a career in which he soared.
A stint as an instructor for Junior ROTC (the high school version of Senior ROTC) led to high school principal, then assistant superintendent and then superintendent of schools – all in his hometown of Griffin.
As impressive as all that was, it was after that when he rose to national prominence.
When Dr. Jones first became Superintendent of Bibb County Schools in 2015, he found an organization that was in disarray. His predecessor left facing federal bribery charges (he was convicted and served time for the lesser charge of tax evasion) and who left a school district that had last graduated only 58.9 percent of its high school seniors. His first long-term goal was to raise the district’s graduation rate to 90 percent by 2025.
(Spoiler: The Class of 2019 had a graduation rate of 79.4 percent, more than 20 percentage points better than what he started with. Six of the district’s seven high schools had graduation rates greater than 80 percent in 2019, putting the district on track to achieving his goal.)
The schools in 2015 had a mindset that the graduation rate would be low, he said.
“It took a mind shift,” he said. “They thought we were giving grades away and giving kids too many opportunities.” Those opportunities include credit recovery and credit repair programs. Students who have fallen behind can make work up during the school day and the summer.
“It takes meeting kids where they are, and helping them move forward,” Jones said. “The expectations changed to, you are going to come to school, you are going to behave, and you are going to pass.”
At one middle school, to encourage pupils to not fight, they don’t have to meet the school dress code on Fridays if there are no fights at their grade level that week. And yes, it works. “Grades, attendance, behavior – that’s going to get us where we need to be,” he said.
Each year, they give students a report showing them the academic standards and where they stand. It’s not a report card so much as a report card on steroids, with actual useful data. A copy is given to the new teacher in August, so they know where their new pupils did well and where they fell short.
It sounds innovative, and it is, but it was really a case of thinking outside a box that wasn’t sealed very tightly.
“It was a collective effort of the district,” he said. “If we were not going to have a state assessment, how do we tell parents what our students learned? We looked at math, reading, and English language arts, and we said, you know what? “We have all this software. It tells us how our students are doing. It gives us a prediction on how they are going to do on the state testing. Why don’t we put this out and give it to the kids?
“To be quite honest, the people who have the software said no one has ever asked us to do that before.”
It’s said that once you leave the military, it never really leaves you. Jones confesses that’s true of him. Every day, he uses his Army experience and adapts it to the education field: developing young leaders, delegating, supervising, setting expectations, and most importantly, meeting or exceeding those expectations.
It boils down to a pithy phrase that he borrowed from the Army: “Mission first, people always.”
That’s not the only thing he borrowed.
When you get promoted in the Army, it is celebrated and you get pinned, whether it is your first PFC chevron or your last general’s stars.
After a teacher’s first year with the Bibbs County School District, they get pinned, too.
It’s a “VIP” pin – “Victory in Progress,” the school district’s mantra.
“After a year, they know who we are, we know who they are, and if you come back for that second year, it means that you want to be part of the team and you’re going to work with us,” Dr. Jones said.
In December 2018, Dr. Jones was named 2019 Georgia Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia School Superintendents Association.
He was then named one of four finalists for 2019 National Superintendent of the Year by The School Superintendents Association.
In February 2019, at the Association’s National Conference on Education, Dr. Jones was named 2019 National Superintendent of the Year.
You must wonder how things would have turned out if he had gotten an appointment to the Air Force or Naval Academy and flew airplanes.
Or if his French teacher had not been absent that day.
Dr. Jones is the keynote speaker at this year’s Craven County Schools Partners in Education luncheon on June 5. This annual event supports and recognizes teachers who won PIE Grants during the 2019-20 school year. PIE awarded over $270,000 through a variety of grants and programs during the 2019-20 school year.
In lieu of a physical luncheon, Partners In Education is taking the luncheon virtual. Thanks to generous sponsors, PIE can make this a free “lunch in place” event, available through the PIE website and on social media.
To be a part of this event and hear Dr. Jones’ message, join them on Facebook, Twitter, or the PIE website, www.cravenpartners.com on June 5 noon.
If you cannot join at that time, the video link will remain available on PIE’s social media pages and website. Contact Darlene Brown, Executive Director, Craven County Partners In Education, at Darlene.Brown@Cravenk12.org to learn more.
Since 1989, PIE has been changing the lives of students and families in our community by providing our educators with financial resources that enhance and reward innovative approaches to educational excellence.
During the 2019-2020 school year, Roger Bell New Tech Academy was awarded the International Paper Literacy Grant, administered through Craven County Partners In Education. This grant allowed the school to purchase a plethora of books for their students to meet their needs as well as provide books that are aligned to their interests. Each week the school celebrated their readers during “Leveling Up Lunches” where students were recognized for their successes and allowed to self-select a book to become part of their home libraries. Prior to school closure due to Covid-19, 76 RGB students had received books. The school’s teachers intend to pick back up their celebrations when they return to school for the 2020-2021 school year.
In evaluating the success of this grant, it is important to recognize that the ultimate outcome is for students to develop a love of reading. Every week teachers and administration were able to witness student’s excitement at selecting a book for them to keep in their home. Students begged all week to ensure that they would be celebrating their success on Friday. An unexpected outcome of the weekly celebrations was the increase in parent support of their reader. Parents were flocking to the school to eat lunch with students on Fridays to participate in “Level Up Lunches!” They shared that they had to make their children put their books away so they could go to bed in the evening. This excitement for growing their home libraries resulted in students increasing the volume of books they read. With this additional practice in reading RGB’s students have become better readers and more independent as a result.
Unfortunately, RGB did not get to complete the project but will give away the remaining books in the fall.
Thank you, International Paper for your support and investment in the students of Roger Bell New Tech Academy and Craven County Partners In Education. This grant is an example of International Paper’s dedication to increasing literacy for our students.
Darlene Brown, director, Craven County Partners in Education (PIE)
News release: Craven County Schools is extremely proud of the Class of 2020 and wants to properly celebrate our soon to be graduates in a safe and healthy manner.
The recent transition to Phase 2 of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 141 shifts from a Stay at Home order to “Safer at Home” but strongly encourages individuals to maintain at least six feet social distancing from other individuals.
High school principals were tasked with gathering feedback from their students and their families on the best way to proceed with this year’s graduation celebration while still honoring the students in a safe and responsible manner.
With any graduation commencement ceremony option, it is extremely important for us to recognize and acknowledge each senior while following the state issued protective measures to keep our students, their families, staff, and those around them safe.
Careful consideration and much thought has been put into each school’s plan. Graduation is an important milestone for our senior class. However, during this challenging time we are not exempt from following the Governor’s Office and NC Department of Health and Human Services recommendations to promote physical distancing and to reduce transmission outlined in Executive Order 141. These continued efforts will support our community as we mitigate the spread of COVID-19. A great deal of guidance has been provided to school districts to include a frequently asked questions document providing additional guidance for Executive Order 141. Additionally, the North Carolina Departments of Public Instruction in consultation with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and the Governor’s Office created a document providing guidance on high school graduation ceremonies which Craven County Schools has used to inform our engagement with families, planning, and work. In addition, we have continually consulted legal guidance and with our Craven County Health Department to ensure we are doing all we can to uphold our responsibility to keep students, staff, and our community safe.
As we near the end of the school year, we continue to recognize all of our seniors as we fulfill our responsibility to abide by requirements of Executive Orders to maintain the safety of students, families, staff members, and the public. Craven County Schools have celebrated our seniors in multiple ways and we continue to do so with commemorations such as congratulatory signs in the yards of our graduates, pictures of our graduates on the digital signs in James City and Havelock and multiple different and creative ways that each individual school is working to celebrate each student. The Class of 2020 is making history and will be able to look back on this time, as they share the events with their children and grandchildren in the future, with pride and a sense of accomplishment unlike any other class before or since.
Toyota of New Bern, in partnership with AlphaGraphics of New Bern and Craven County Partners In Education, will present the keys to a 2020 Toyota Camry to the Craven County Schools Teacher of the Year Gayle Hardy, AVID Site Coordinator/Elective Teacher with New Bern High.
The car will be presented to Ms. Hardy on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 2 p.m. at the Toyota of New Bern dealership, located at 5010 US Hwy 70 East, New Bern.
Hardy was chosen as Teacher of the Year for Craven County Schools but was unable to be presented with the car at the time of the announcement due to COVID-19. Since then, the car has been festively wrapped by AlphaGraphics of New Bern, announcing that the Craven County Schools teacher of the year is the driver.
“We appreciate every opportunity presented to show our support for our schools and their staff, our educators, and especially our children. To be associated with the Teacher of the Year Program is a very humbling experience for us at Toyota of New Bern. The focus of our community should always be on our education system and how to make it better. Congratulations to Ms. Hardy, she is the true embodiment of how our schools become stronger and it’s students with it,” the dealership said in a news release.
“Once again, we feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with Toyota of New Bern and Partners In Education in honoring the Teacher of the Year. We are inspired and grateful to all of our educators.” said Alison Parker, manager of AlphaGraphics of New Bern.
Hardy is the third consecutive Craven County Teacher of the Year to be awarded the use of a new car for one year from Toyota of New Bern.
“Craven County Schools is fortunate to have extraordinary community partners, such as our friends at Toyota of New Bern for providing the car, and AlphaGraphics of New Bern for ‘wrapping’ the car. Our partners value the importance of education and the hard work that our teachers put into their jobs,” Daniel Rhyne, Vice President of Partners In Education, said.
As the winner, Hardy will go on to represent Craven County at the regional level in hopes of making it to the next level for a chance to be named Teacher of the Year for North Carolina.
Gayle Hardy, an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Elective Teacher at New Bern High School, has been selected as the 2020-21 Teacher Ambassador for Craven County Schools.
For more than 50 years our nation has honored teachers with the National Teacher of the Year Program. In 2014, the NC Department of Public Instruction announced their partnership with Burroughs Wellcome Fund as the new major sponsor of the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program.
Since 1970, North Carolina has participated in this program recognizing outstanding teachers. Craven County Schools has participated in the Teacher of the Year Program for many years and is proud to recognize one of the many outstanding educators in the district as our 2020- 2021 Teacher Ambassador.
As an AVID teacher, Hardy helps students develop the skills they need to be successful in college.
“Ms. Hardy works with AVID student by placing a special emphasis on growing writing, critical thinking, teamwork, organization and reading skills,” the school district said in a release announcing the selection.
As the Craven County Schools Teacher Ambassador, Ms. Hardy will serve as the local adviser to the Board of Education and will represent Craven County Schools in various community and civic events.
Hardy now moves on to compete against other local award recipients for the Southeast Regional Teacher of the Year title.
Hardy was chosen following an application and interview process with the local selection committee, comprising of the current Teacher Ambassador, the current Principal of the Year, central office staff and community leaders.
Gayle Hardy has been teaching for 36 years, with 29 of those years in Craven County Schools.
“Hardy is committed to the success of all learners and creates learning experiences based on continuous improvement and rigorous content,” the school district news release said.
In her application, Hardy stated, “I believe every student I encounter is a walking, talking miracle and they need me to keep reminding them when they don’t believe that yet, or they try to hide it from the world.”
Hardy further said, “While we don’t all share the same strengths and abilities, I believe we can all surpass our own perceived limitations given the right environment and support.”
While Hardy has received awards and has been the speaker at national conferences, she will be the first to tell you, “the rewards that keep me going are my relationships with my students and peers and watching them grow in leadership, empathy, and determination.”
When asked how she would communicate the importance of the teaching profession, Hardy said, “Our goal is to reach every student.” “ We strive to build their communication and relationship skills, all while relaying the beauty, strength and sacrifice we share in our diversity….our histories….our stories…our cultures.”
2020-2021 TEACHER AMBASSADOR Being selected as the Teacher Ambassador/ Teacher of the Year is one of the highest honors the district bestows on an educator.
“As you are aware, the last few weeks have been difficult, but our teachers have stepped up to demonstrate their love and commitment in new ways,” the school district said in a news release. “It is more important than even to recognize our teachers for their hard work.”
This year’s finalists included a talented and dedicated group of educators from across Craven County. The passion for teaching and learning was evident in both the portfolios and interviews. This year’s finalists are: • Brianne Black, 1st Grade Teacher at Bridgeton Elementary School • Jordan Garrett, 5th Grade Teacher at AH Bangert Elementary • Erin Lembke, Biology and Chemistry Teacher at Havelock High School
A Craven Count Schools employee contracted COVID-19, the school district announced late Wednesday.
“We learned today that one of our employees tested positive for this virus,” the district said in a news release.
“First and foremost, we ask for prayers and positive thoughts for the full and complete recovery of a member of our team and family. This employee never exhibited any symptoms while at work and has not been back to work since being diagnosed.
“While we cannot legally release the identity of our employee, we can tell you that the Craven County Health Department investigated this case and has notified all Craven County Schools staff members and members of the employee’s family who may have had contact with that employee in the 48 hours prior to developing symptoms.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Craven County Schools has been working to put strategies in place to protect our staff from the transmission of this virus.
The system has taken multiple steps to ensure the safety of its employees to include systematic disinfecting of surfaces, temperature checks in our buildings, closing buildings to visitors, and implementing handling procedures for mail and packages. These processes have been developed with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and with the consultation of an industrial hygienist and environmental services project manager to provide training and support for staff.
In addition, there is a lead nurse with a background in public health who has been invaluable to the administration and employees during this time.
“We are aware of no other employee who has been tested or is awaiting test results at this time. However, we also are aware that not every person who is showing symptoms is being advised to get tested. For that reason, Craven County Schools has been consistently and regularly assessing our employees in buildings but also encouraging our staff to stay home if they feel sick or display any symptoms of illness.
“Any employee who is diagnosed or who believes they may be recovering from this virus will not return to work for two weeks. Thankfully, these employees may take leave that does not impact their pay or benefits during this time.”
Craven County Schools will be continuing systematic disinfection and cleaning procedures at all of its schools to protect staff and families.
“In addition, as an extra precaution, we have contracted with companies to conduct additional deep cleaning and disinfection of areas when that is necessary.”
Physical school buildings have been closed since March 13, 2020, although we have continued with instruction through remote learning.
“During remote learning, we have worked hard to create processes to facilitate and encourage as many employees as possible to work from home. This week, however, is spring break and our buildings are even more empty except for the school nutrition staff and employees supporting meal preparation for pick up at our elementary schools. Since the school closure, Craven County Schools has provided over 400,000 meals to students. This work can only continue as long as our employees are safe. Therefore, it is critical that we continue and redouble our efforts towards the processes of safety and physical distancing, disinfection, and screening.
“We continue to urge our staff to monitor their health and if they feel ill, to stay home. Our schools will remain closed until at least May 15, 2020 under the Governor’s Executive Orders to help contain the spread of coronavirus and save lives. At this time, we do not know of any extension of this date.
“We know this may be concerning to hear about a confirmed case, but we believe we are doing all we can at the school district level to help contain the community spread of this virus but continue to provide the essential services of remote instruction and meals for our students. Please be well and continue to do the work of staying home as much as possible.
“For the benefit of our entire community, we continue to encourage all to observe the CDC guidelines for handwashing, wearing masks, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces where you live and work. Thank you to all our families in supporting your children as they learn remotely.”
On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the Board of Education met by conference call for a special called meeting to handle multiple issues related to public school closure due to COVID-19 and to take care of items that were time sensitive to facilitate the continuity of school system operations.
This is the first time that the Board of Education met by conference call because of the physical distancing requirements of our Governor under the direction of the Center for Disease Control.
Among many important issues discussed were decisions related to our high school seniors who are eligible for graduation at the end of this school year.
On March 27, 2020, the State Board of Education suspended policies to facilitate graduation for high school seniors after meeting the minimum number of 22 credits.
It also suspended the CPR requirement for high school seniors and reduced the amount of paid work hours required for our students graduating in the Occupational Course of Study. This action by the State Board required further action by the Craven County Board of Education to suspend their own policy 3460 which requires 26 credits for graduation.
The guidance on grading from the State Board of Education for seniors communicates the expectation that seniors may not earn a grade (letter or numeric) for any spring semester course, other than pass or fail. Craven County Schools has students who, for a number of reasons, may either want or need a numeric/letter grade calculated into their grade point average.
This number of students may be small. However, the Board was asked by the Superintendent to either consider a resolution requesting the ability to provide seniors the choice of taking an actual grade for spring semester courses or defaulting to the guidance of the State Board.
Note that for Craven County Schools to issue a grade (letter or numeric) will require approval from the State Board of Education. The other option was to accept the guidance of the State Board as written.
The Board, under significant constraints of their first conference call meeting, spent a great deal of time discussing this important issue and each Board Member was advocating what is best for every child in our system. This looks very different for each Board member and it is the cornerstone of our democracy that our Board engages in and addresses difficult issues.
At the end of the meeting, the Board directed the Superintendent to collect data from high school seniors, parents, and teachers related to the extent to which our students want this option of taking an actual grade.
“Our Board as a whole, recognizes and respects that the transition to remote learning has had different impacts on our students across the county. It is the intention of the administration to collect this data as soon as possible to put in front of the Board for action quickly. COVID-19 has constrained our work in ways we could not have imagined four weeks ago. However, we all believe that it is important to take our time and be thoughtful as we make big decisions for students and families for this year and consider the implications for next school year.”
It is important to note that grading related to students in grades K-11 continues. However, Craven County Schools teachers are working with students to ensure that grading is a method of providing feedback and that the work of students is strengthening students understanding of grade level standards.
The State Board of Education has not yet provided guidance on how promotion and retention decisions will be made for this school year.
“Our teachers have worked very hard to assist each of our students to be in the best possible position depending on when we return to school and how further decisions by the State Board of Education will impact student academic standing.
“Craven County Schools encourages all students, especially seniors to keep working their hardest during this time of remote learning. Since the guidance was provided by the State Board, we immediately started evaluating grades as of March 13, 2020 to determine eligibility to graduate.
“This work is on-going, and we will seek the feedback from our seniors. However, the work in and performance of our seniors in their spring semester classes will only help them going forward, not harm them. It is especially critical for our seniors who need spring courses to meet the graduation eligibility requirements.
“We are working hard to make sure that we do not miss any opportunity for our seniors and that we are thinking through the implications for each of them as they continue their pursuit and planning for their future.”
For additional information on the guidance issued by the State Board of Education please click here.
This afternoon Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the closure of public school facilities as instructional settings for K-12 students will be extended through May 15.
While school buildings are closed for instruction, school employees will continue to expand efforts to ensure that vulnerable children and their families have access to nutritious food during this emergency. Additionally, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, many North Carolina public school buildings will serve as emergency child care sites to support those on the frontlines of COVID-19 responses, including health care workers and first responders.
In the wake of the Governor’s announcement, public schools in traditional districts and charter schools will, as possible, implement remote learning plans they have developed for students’ academic achievement as well as social and emotional well-being.
“Superintendents across this state are acutely aware of how important it will be to continue to provide child nutrition services over the extended closure,” said Patrick Miller, the 2019-20 State Superintendent of the Year. “In some districts, child care services may be provided for medical staff and other essential staff on the front lines, such as law enforcement. We will also work diligently to remain connected with our students during this time. Our teachers are prepared to implement remote learning plans; however, these will look different from district to district. One thing I can assure you is that our teachers will continue to work hard and we will all get better at this as we go.”
Mariah Morris, the 2019-20 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, agrees. “Teachers are the first-responders for our students,” she said. “We understand the importance of the teacher-student relationship during these uncertain times. Beyond academic learning, teachers are able to provide social and emotional support for our students across the state that is so desperately needed. We, teachers, are leaders on the ground-level, and our children are relying on us to pave the way during these unprecedented times with positivity, innovation, and grace.”
State leaders will be providing further direction and guidance to local school leaders about how to deliver remote instruction and support for students during these unprecedented times. State education leaders recognize that remote instruction will look different in communities across the state as school districts and charter schools refine and implement their plans. The Digital Teaching and Learning Division of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction have curated a wealth of remote learning resources and information on their website. Inequities in local resources and digital access further complicate matters. The State Board of Education, Superintendent, and Department of Public Instruction will take all possible steps to mitigate these inequities and help local schools implement best practices for remote learning. Previous guidance regarding personnel-related matters remains in effect.
Earlier today, the State Board of Education held an emergency meeting and unanimously agreed to approve the recommendation from Superintendent Johnson and the Department of Public Instruction to seek a waiver of federal testing requirements. This afternoon, the U.S. Department of Education notified DPI that the federal waiver was approved. With respect to state testing requirements, the State Board of Education and Superintendent Johnson are already in close contact with General Assembly members about the waivers necessary to address COVID-19 for this school year.
As we look ahead, we want to resume traditional in-school instruction this school year on May 18. We will reopen schools if our public health experts say that we can.
Parents and students know the value of direct instructional time and the value of face-to-face interactions between teachers and students. After the closure, we look forward to returning to our schools, finishing this school year, and preparing for the next school term.
“While educators and families are eager to return to school, we understand how important it is for us to follow the guidance of the Governor’s office and experts from the CDC and DHHS,” said Matt Bristow-Smith, 2019-20 NC Principal of the Year. “Educators are 100% committed to the safety, health, and well-being of our scholars. We will continue to implement remote learning plans to support our students academically, socially, and emotionally as we get through this together.”
We are particularly aware of how important a return to regular school will be for our seniors, the Class of 2020. We are in direct contact with our partners in higher education and understand our seniors have unique needs at this time in preparation for further education and the workforce. We will be providing additional guidance related to the specific issues related to our senior class.
We know that public schools are the backbones of our communities. As we face new realities, we will all need to adjust. There will be hundreds of decisions to make as we redefine school this year and beyond. State leaders will continue to collaborate with our partners in the General Assembly and local leaders to address the policy and legal issues that will inevitably arise from this pandemic.
Despite the present uncertainties, our core principle of putting children and school communities first remains unwavering. It will guide us moving forward. The State Board of Education, Superintendent, and Department of Public Instruction thank Governor Cooper for his leadership in this challenging time. We extend gratitude to our colleagues at the Department of Health and Human Services for providing the best-available data to inform decision-making during this public health emergency. The decision to close school buildings as instructional settings through May 15 is the prudent one. We will continue to make decisions about school based on public health requirements. We also thank our health care workers who are vital to these efforts, as well as our first responders, who are doing so much to respond to this crisis.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced an extension of his Executive Order requiring that physical school buildings remain closed through Friday, May 15, 2020.
Craven County Schools will continue to deliver remote learning for its students as well as continue meal delivery during this time.
“Our goal is to create a sense of normalcy for our students while ensuring all continue to be engaged with our educators and learning,” the school district announced in a news release. “We are so proud of the dedication of our school employees as they have been committed to creating remote learning opportunities quickly for their students.”
Teachers and school employees will continue working to fulfill this need for the community. A plan is being developed by district staff to expand the resources, digital and remote, offered during this time of closure. Additional information should be released soon.
Monday is Craven County Schools’ first day of remote learning.
Understandably there are a lot of questions as we transition to a new normal,” the school district reported in a news release on Monday. “We ask that our parents remember that our educators, support staff, and administrators are new to this work at this scale, so we are asking for continued patience. In particular, teachers are assigning work but they may not have provided due dates yet.
“We ask that all students and parents know that everything that is being assigned is not due in one day. We will pace ourselves and we will communicate that to our students and families. If needed, a remote learning tab has been created on each school’s website and the district website to provide additional information and support for students, parents, and staff.
“We understand this closure is challenging for our children and their families and it is hard on our teachers and school staff. However, there are creative and innovative solutions that our students and our staff are finding to learn and support one another during this time.
“We cannot wait to share these things with you in the coming days. We truly appreciate all of the support our schools have received. We continue to ask our families for patience as well as constructive insights as we move forward.”