Due to the projected forecast of Hurricane Michael, Craven County Schools will be closed Thursday, Oct. 11 for students and staff of the eight schools that reopened this week, along with Early College Campuses. Officials will monitor the situation before deciding whether school should be closed Friday, as well.
Students and staff of the 15 other school sites that had not yet reopened due to continuing issues from Hurricane Florence will remain closed..
Schools affected by the Thursday closure are Oaks Road Academy, Creekside Elementary, Ben D. Quinn Elementary, Bridgeton Elementary, Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary, Grover C. Fields Middle, New Bern High, and West Craven High.
Custodians and maintenance staff are asked to report as normal unless contacted by their immediate supervisor.
Central Office Staff should plan to report if safely able to do so.
District officials will continue to monitor the storm during the next 24 hours and share any updated information regarding Friday as soon as possible.
Gov. Roy Cooper directed $25 million from the North Carolina Education Lottery Fund on Tuesday to speed repairs to K-12 public schools damaged by Hurricane Florence.
“Students need to get back to learning and educators need to get back to teaching, but many school districts can’t afford the repairs schools need,” Cooper said. “The lives of thousands of students, teachers and families are on hold and they need our help to recover.”
While many schools have reopened since Hurricane Florence struck last month, seven North Carolina school systems remain closed, keeping more than 130 schools out of operation and nearly 90,000 students out of class.
Just four of Craven County’s 23 public schools were open for class on Monday. Three schools in Jones County will have to be entirely rebuilt.
Several affected school districts have depleted most of their contingency funds and need immediate financial assistance to repair roofs, flooring and electrical wiring, eradicate mold and mildew and replace furniture to get schools reopened.
The emergency funds will be administered by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Priority will be given to district and charter schools in Brunswick, Craven, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson counties that have immediate repair needs and are not currently in operation.
Some of the repairs should be reimbursable by federal disaster recovery funds. Transferring the money now gives schools quicker help and allows them to retain contractors to speed repairs.
Craven County Schools will provide two information sessions for parents and community stakeholders to provide details regarding the process and scope of work needed at facilities so students and staff are able to return to the safest environment possible.
Robert Herrick P.E. CIH, external industrial hygienist, will be on site to help answer questions about the procedures being completed at each school site as well as the desired outcomes.
The first session will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at p.m. The second session will be on Friday, Oct. 12, at 9 a.m. Both sessions will be held at The Board of Education located at 3600 Trent Road, New Bern.
Pictured are left to right, Ervin Patrick, PIE past president; Millie McLaney Chalk with Duke Energy; Darlene Brown PIE executive director; and Don Brinkley, PIE president.
Craven County Partners In Education won a grant from Duke Energy for $4,500 for the STREAM Lab at Bridgeton Elementary.
The grant demonstrates Duke Energy Foundation’s continued support of education, environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact. This grant will take Bridgeton Elementary’s STEM Lab to a STREAM Lab (including reading and art) and expand it to include grades K-2.
The mission of Craven County Partners In Education is to support and advance educational experiences within Craven County Schools through collaborative community involvement. If you would like to learn how your organization can make a difference through Craven County Schools’ local education foundation, PIE, contact Darlene Brown, Executive Director, at 252-514-6321.
In an emergency called meeting of the Craven County Board of Education on Thursday, an appropriation of $3.5 million was approved for damage repairs, school climate stabilization, and restoration and remediation services for our schools.
Superintendent Meghan Doyle said that this expenditure will not cover the full damages of Hurricane Florence to Craven County Schools.
“We continue to make progress and are happy to say that we are beginning the transition back to school,” the district said in a news release.
Craven County Schools has completed the process of testing air quality samples at all 23 of its school sites by an external industrial hygienist. Based on the results, six school sites are cleared for students and staff to safely return to campus on Monday, Oct. 8. The schools are:
Ben D. Quinn Elementary
Grover C. Fields Middle
New Bern High (except Vocational Area)
Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary
West Craven High
Based on the air quality reports, nine schools have been partially cleared and once these buildings are restored and cleaned thoroughly they will be re-tested again. They are:
AH Bangert Elementary
Brinson Memorial Elementary
Havelock Middle (ECE Wing has been cleared)
HJ MacDonald Middle
JT Barber Elementary
Oaks Road Academy
Trent Park Elementary
W.J. Gurganus Elementary
Once the air quality samples are reviewed and safely cleared, these campuses will be released for school to start back. Crews will be working throughout the weekend to remediate the impacted areas be prepared for future announcements for these sites
Eight other school sites have not been cleared and will need remediation by external companies contracted to complete the work in an effective and efficient manner. Funds for this work will come from the Board of Education fund balance appropriation made at Thursday’s meeting. The schools requiring greater detail to be cleared to safely return back to school are:
Arthur W. Edwards Elementary
Graham A. Barden Elementary
James W. Smith Elementary
Roger Bell New Tech Academy
Tucker Creek Middle
West Craven Middle
“We appreciate the patience and understanding our school families and the community as we anxiously work to get our facilities at a safe level for all to return,” the district said in the news release.
“Craven County has never experienced a storm of this magnitude and while the structural damage to our facilities does not appear to be great on the outside, the length of power outages at each site combined with moisture and humidity is a direct correlation to the air quality on the inside.”
The tentative goal date for all facilities to be operational is Monday, Oct. 15.
Craven County Schools are tentatively planning to return students to school on Monday, Oct. 8. These dates are subject to change.
Information about athletics and support for students will be forthcoming in the next couple of days. Staff and students are not allowed in school buildings until they have been cleared.
Over 80 members of Craven Count Schools staff have been personally affected with losses of home and personal property.
Students throughout the county have been also severely impacted in multiple communities.
Initial damage assessments of Craven County Schools revealed roof damage to several schools resulting in leaks and breaches of water and water intrusion into several schools resulting in isolated flooding.
Also serious and challenging was the loss of power to schools across the district resulting in the lack of climate control and the addition of moisture to buildings.
After initial assessments, the scope of damage to Craven County Schools’ buildings is greater than was originally thought after Hurricane Florence.
Additional assessments of air quality are being conducted this evening, and through the weekend with results coming in the first of the week of Oct. 1.
Repairs that staff can complete have been addressed continuously over the last week. The most significant structural damages have been addressed. They are sanitizing and removing damaged materials and stabilizing HVAC systems. However, their first priority is to ensure that the buildings we will return staff and students to are safe.
“We are keenly aware that the days of closure are challenging and frustrating. And we want our students to return as soon as possible. We want nothing more than to bring our schools back to normalcy for our community and most importantly for our students and staff,” the school district announced.
“As a result, we are working to begin the transition back to school. It is important to note that our plan remains tentative and dependent upon our continued assessment of each building. We recognize, however, that our families need information as quickly as possible to make necessary arrangements.”
EARLY COLLEGE AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE CLASSES
For Early College students at Craven Early College and Early College EAST, students will attend any scheduled Craven Community College classes on Monday, Oct. 1. Students will return to high school classes on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. Staff at Craven Early College and Early College EAST will return to work on Monday, Oct. 1. All dates are tentative and subject to change. For traditional high school students who are taking Career and College Promise (CCP) courses taught on the campus of Craven Community College, they should plan to attend. For Career and College Promise (CCP) courses taught on the campuses of traditional high schools, these sections will not resume until the High Schools open. If there is an issue with transportation for CCP classes please make contact with your school’s principal by calling the main number. Leave a message and someone will get back with you
For all non-early college schools: school nutrition staff, clerical staff, guidance staff, non-instructional support staff, and assistant principals should return to work on Monday, Oct. 1. Custodial, transportation some school nutrition staff should have already returned to work. These specific staff groups will be receiving separate information from their principal or division head about where to report on Monday later this weekend.
For traditional schools and restart schools, 10-month instructional staff will return to school on Oct. 4 and 5. These dates are tentative and dependent upon assessments of each building.
FEMA has opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the old Eckerd/Rite Aid store located at 710 DeGraffenreid Ave. in New Bern. The DRC serves as a one-stop location for citizens affected by Hurricane Florence to apply for disaster assistance and other benefits available to them through support agencies. Valuable state, local and federal resources will be provided at the DRC which will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. beginning Thursday, Sept. 27, until FEMA determines the community needs have been met.
Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 1-800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 1-800-462-7585
Download FEMA’s mobile app
4. Visit the Disaster Recovery Center
Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if you have registered with another disaster-relief organization such as the American Red Cross, or local community or church organization.
For more information Craven County’s Hurricane Florence recovery efforts, visit the Craven County website at www.cravencountync.gov, on the Craven County Facebook page @cravencounty and the Craven County Emergency Management Twitter account @cravencountync. Visit the Craven County website to register to receive emergency notifications via text, email and phone calls through the CodeRed Emergency Notification System.
Hurricane Florence ripped through portions of Eastern North Carolina, dumping historic rainfall on Craven County. Thousands of homes were flooded.
As families rebuild, many will likely be unable to afford to replace school supplies lost due to the flooding.
“You feel kind of helpless. Because you think about your students, who are your family, and you’re like ‘What can I do to help?’” said Craven County Schools Teacher of the Year, Katy Chadwick.
Chadwick was born and raised in Craven County. She attended UNC Wilmington and began her teaching career in Craven County. She said, “People like Antoinette Boskey, an active community member, have been reaching out to me about how they can help, so Darlene Brown, executive director of PIE, and I put our heads together and said we need to do this for our students.”
Brown said, “We just held our Stuff the Bus event, so I guess we are re-stuffing our buses. So many of our students are homeless, and the best thing we can do for them is to get them back into a routine of attending school with the supplies they will need. PIE is pleased to support our teachers and our students.”
School supplies can be dropped off between 9 a.m.– 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, at the ABC Central Office, 3493 Martin Drive, New Bern, NC (loading dock available) or at Craven County Sheriff’s Office, 1100 Clarks Road, New Bern (contact Investigative Sgt. Mike Sawyer, firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-636-6643 for drop off information).
You can also donate money on line at www.CravenPartners.com. If you would like your supplies to be dedicated to a certain school, please indicate that in the comments section when you donate online. A school supply list can be found on the PIE website. Some suggested items are:
Earbuds or headphones
4GB (or larger) flash drives
Pocket folders with brads (any color)
Blank copier paper (8.5 inches by 11 inches)
Graph paper (8.5 inches by 11 inches)
Notebook paper (8.5 inches by 11 inches)
No. 2 pencils
Blue, black, and red ink pens
Highlighters (any color)
Colored pencils (12-pack)
Colored markers (not permanent)
Rulers (30cm, wooden)
Index cards (3 inches by 5 inches, 100 count, lined)
Pkgs. of dividers
Colored construction paper
Clorox or Lysol wipes
For more information about this event, or how you can support PIE, contact Darlene Brown at 514-6321, or at Darlene.Brown@CravenK12.org. Visit the PIE website at www.CravenPartners.com to learn more about the programs offered by Partners In Education.
Partners In Education is the local educational foundation that provides grant funding and special programs to classrooms and schools within the Craven County Schools system.
Looking for the perfect way to have a delicious pancake breakfast before visiting Santa in Bear Plaza, taking in some shopping, and enjoying the many activities happening during the holiday season in beautiful, historic downtown New Bern?
Pancakes for PIE at Morgan’s Tavern & Grill, 235 Craven St. Breakfast will be served Saturday, Dec. 15, from 7-10 a.m. to benefit Partners In Education, the local education foundation for Craven County Schools. Morgan’s will be festively decorated for the holiday season and is the perfect setting to start your day with pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit cup, orange juice, coffee, and water. All this for just $7 per adult, and $5 for children 12 and under. Reservations are not required as this is a pay at the door event. Debit, credit cards, checks, and cash are accepted. In order to expedite seating, please have checks or cash ready.
Where & Who: Morgan’s, 235 Craven St., Downtown New Bern
What: Pancakes for PIE – Delicious pancake, bacon, sausage, fruit, orange juice, coffee & water breakfast for $7/adult, $5/children 12 and under
When: Saturday, December 15, 7-10 a.m.
Why: To benefit Partners In Education, the local education foundation for Craven County Schools
Don Brinkley, PIE Board Presiden, said, “This event is open to the public and is an excellent opportunity for our community to show their support for Craven County Schools. Morgan’s is generously donating all proceeds from the breakfast to PIE, who will use the funds to support our local schools through PIE grant programs. Serving our pancakes will be Morgan’s staff along with PIE volunteers consisting of teachers, school staff members, and community supporters.”
Brandy Popp, Chair of the PIE Fund Raising Committee, said, “It is so very giving of Adam and Candice Simmons and their employees to provide the staffing, food, and venue for this event. We all know Morgan’s dishes up excellent food and our volunteers are always up for serving some ‘PIE’! We are absolutely thrilled Morgan’s is hosting Pancakes for PIE and we encourage everyone to bring the whole family and spend the day in beautiful downtown New Bern! We have sent a special invitation to Santa and we are hoping he will be on hand to share holiday cheer.”
Partners In Education is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Local Education Foundation that provides grant funding and special programs to classrooms and schools within the Craven County Schools system.
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.
Craven County Schools will remain closed to all students and staff through Friday, Sept. 28.
Craven County continues to be under a state of emergency. Craven County Schools executive staff members, facilities and maintenance staff, and school leaders have completed the damage assessments of schools.
Current assessments include lack of power at several school sites, roof and tree damage in multiple locations, and a few schools that experienced flooding.
Four school sites continue to operate as shelters for evacuees displaced due to Hurricane Florence.
School leaders are in the process of calling to verify the location of students who have had to relocate due to damage.
Unfortunately, many school staff members, like many of students and community members, have experienced substantial flooding in their homes impacting much of their personal property.
Western Craven County continues to be threatened by rising flood waters from the Neuse and Trent rivers.
“With the uncertainty of the water rising, we continue to ask all of our families and the entire community to be cautious,” the school announced in a news release.
“We continue to be mindful of the significant losses many in our community have suffered from Hurricane Florence. We ask that you continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. We are encouraged by the giving hearts of our community and all who have already come out to support one another and take care of our neighbors. We are blessed with a number of organizations and school systems that have reached out to assist from across the state and the country. If you are need of assistance, please contact your school or administration via email or through social media to help coordinate the resources that are available.”