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Dare school board to stream meetings; revised polices adopted

Dare County Board of Education will join all other local government agencies in broadcasting regular meetings by video stream.

The first live meeting will be aired March 9, 2021 at 5 p.m. The board has previously provided audio of its meetings. On Jan. 12, during the board’s special meeting on delivering third quarter education, at one time had 589 people listening to the broadcast.

The board authorized using $25,000 to purchase portable equipment for meeting broadcasts. For regular meetings, Dare County Board of Education visits every school in the district once a year, thus the need for portable broadcast equipment.

Current employees will staff the two cameras.

On Jan. 12, secondary school director Keith Parker reported that the system had administered 400 in-school tests in two days. In-school testing is required by the state for End-of-Course exams and Career and Technical Education state assessments.

One of three policies – Policy 3410 – adopted by the board addresses what percentage of the test scores from End of Course tests and Career and Technical Education assessments will count in final course grades. The state’s school board recently adopted a change from 25% to 20% and Dare’s school board followed that action Jan. 12. This policy was adopted unanimously.

Another policy adopted by all board members addresses board meeting procedures, specifically public comments made to the board. Policy 2340 now sets out a process for making a complaint about a school employee and refines vulgar and threatening language.

On a 6-1 vote, the board adopted a COVID-19 amendment to school safety policies 1510/4200/2770/9230. The amendment puts in place a temporary procedure to secure the safety of students and staff during the pandemic and provides the superintendent the power to develop protocols where necessary to implement state requirements.

Board member Joe Tauber opposed the change that grants the superintendent and not the board the power to develop the protocols.

Superintendent John Farrelly told the board that the district’s leadership team is working on enrichment programs for grades kindergarten through 12 to be offered from the close of this school term to the opening in the fall. The district needs to identify a source for funding.

Nine people sent public comments by email to the board. Parker read each email. The main topic was returning students to classrooms.

In the consent agenda, the board appropriated an additional $251,314 in state public school funding, including coronavirus relief funding and transportation funds; federal funds of $246,646 for Children with Disabilities-Risk Pool, IDEA Special Needs Targeted Assistance IDEA Targeted Assistance for Preschool and CARES Act Funds; and to the Other Specific Revenue Fund, an additional $13,265 for administration of the pre-k program.

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