Dare school board, commissioners move forward

Published 12:23 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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Dare County’s Board of Commissioners will meet in regular session on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023. The extensive agenda includes a budget amendment and capital project ordinance for Dare County Schools in the amount of $932,754, the amount initially estimated by Builder Services of North Carolina for remediation work to remove mold from First Flight Middle and First Flight Elementary Schools.

Dare County has around $4 million remaining in its unassigned fund balance, after allocating $6 million for capital improvements plan and $1 million for teacher housing through the Dare Education Foundation.

The close to million-dollar bill would just about wipe out the Dare County Board of Education’s fund balance.

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The mold problem emerged immediately after the regularly scheduled school board meeting on Aug. 14, 2023. The school board called an emergency meeting Aug. 16 and approved the contract with Builder Services. The company delivered.

The two schools opened Monday, Aug. 28 with good clean air test results.

At the Aug. 14 school board meeting, board members heard reports about:

– Early College. Denise Fallon reported on the timeline to apply for an early college for Dare County Schools. Dare County commissioners are also involved in this initiative.

On Sept. 6, the commissioners are asked to approve a budget amendment to the School Capital Investment Fund for a needs assessment and cost estimate for early college buildings at the old College of The Albemarle campus on Russell Twiford Road. The assessment and estimate are part of the master contract with the architectural firm of Oakley and Collier. The estimated cost is $42,800.

– The new pre-k class at Kitty Hawk Elementary School. By adding this class, all five Dare elementary schools now have pre-k programs.

– A donation from the First Flight High School Athletic Booster Club for a football stadium sign. The club is donating $3,500 for materials.

On second reading, the school board adopted the following Policy Manual updates:

– Policy 1610/7800, Professional and Staff Development, recommended by NC School Boards Association, statute change.

– Policy 3101, Dual Enrollment, recommended by NC School Boards Association, state policy change. Dare County Schools must comply by December 2023.

– Policy 4023/7233, Pregnant and Parenting Students and Employees, recommended by NC School Boards Association, based on new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and PUMP Act.

– Policy 4310k, Standards of Expected Student Behavior, recommended by NC School Boards Association, to address use of ChatGPT for school assignments.

– New Policy 5008, Automated Phone and Text Messaging, recommended policy from NC School Boards Association.

The board received on first reading an update to Policy 4700, Student Records.

The school board approved a memorandum of understanding between Dare County Schools and the Dare County Education Foundation.

The school board named member Carl Woody to serve on the construction committee for the new teacher housing on Run Hill.

The board named member Barry Wickre as the board’s representative to serve on the early college application committee.

At the beginning of the meeting, school board members approved participation by student advisors. The advisors will be sworn in at the Sept. 18, 2023 meeting.