Granville County Public Schools

GCPS Addresses Possible Re-Entry Plans for Fall, Announces Special Called Board Meetings

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Public School Districts throughout the state have been receiving guidance from both the DHHS and NCDPI about what school might look like on August 17, 2020. Two specific documents may be found at this link HERE. As outlined specifically in the “Lighting Our Way” document from the state, all public schools have been preparing three separate ‘re-entry’ plans for this fall.

Under Plan A, Granville County Public Schools (GCPS) would begin school with minimal social distancing. This means all students and staff would report to school, much like in a regular year, but with special safety and cleaning practices in place.

Under Plan B, GCPS would begin school with moderate social distancing. This means that only some students would physically report to school at any given time. Under this plan, school districts would have some type of alternating schedule for different groups of students. These schedules could look different at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Under Plan C, no students would physically report to school in the fall. Instead, all learning would occur remotely, either through connected technology devices and/or hard copies of instructional materials and assignments.

Governor Roy Cooper will make an announcement by July 1, 2020, about which of these three plans will be in place for the start of the school year. School districts may choose a more restrictive plan than what he announces, but may NOT decide locally to have a less restrictive plan.

GCPS has been busy planning details for what each of these three plans will require. Plan A, which is the least restrictive, looks a lot like “regular school,” just with more cleaning and attention to the health and safety of all students and staff.

Plan C, which is the most restrictive, looks a lot like what happened in our schools this past spring. We have been working hard to plan for improvements in both the quality and range of service and support for students and families should this plan be implemented.

Plan B, of course, is in the middle. Under this plan, districts have flexibility in choosing how to create alternating schedules and services for students and their families. To date, we have more than 4,500 parent responses to the two surveys we have administered. Part of the questions on this survey will help inform our Board of Education in determining what Plan B looks like.

On Monday, June 29, our Board will be holding a special called meeting. Part of this meeting will be reserved for discussion and sharing of information about these three plans, with a specific focus on what Plan B might look like for our district.

The Board also plans to hold a special meeting on July 2, 2020, after the Governor makes his announcement, to officially vote on and approve a plan for the school district.

It is also important for GCPS families to know that if Plan A or Plan B are implemented, we realize that there are many who may not feel comfortable sending their children back to school. Some children and their family members may be at a higher risk for the virus or simply are not ready to physically return to school. If either Plan A or Plan B are put in place, we will have blended and remote learning options available for these families. We want to make sure that there are options for everyone.

Finally, we want everyone to know that regardless of which of the three plans are chosen by the Governor, we are making specific plans to provide strong support for any students with special needs. We will also be making sure to continue our meal service programs so that no children go hungry during these difficult times.

We thank you for your support and patience and will continue to provide updates with any new information or decisions as they are made. We are all, indeed, in this together!

Granville County Public Schools

Granville Co. Board of Education to Discuss Budget Amendments, School Re-Entry Plans

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-Information courtesy Granville County Public Schools

The Granville County Board of Education will meet for a Special Meeting on Monday, June 29, 2020, at 4 pm.

The purpose of this meeting is for the Board of Education to consider year-end budget amendments, consider technology purchases, receive updated budget information as requested, and receive updates on school re-entry plans for the upcoming school year.

However, due to the current statewide State of Emergency, and in order to protect the health and safety of board members, staff and the public, this meeting will be conducted electronically, with members of the public invited to view the live stream.

To join the live stream meeting, please use the following link:

https://live.myvrspot.com/player?udi=Z3Nj&c=Z3JhbnZpbGxlMQ%3D%3D

The Board will also meet in Closed Session in accordance with N.C. General Statute 143.318.11 (a)(6), 143-318.11 (a)(3), 143.318.11 (a)(5) and Section 115C-321 for Personnel, and Attorney/Client Privilege.

To view the agenda for this meeting, please click here.

Book Bus

The ‘Book Bus’ Bringing Books, Snacks to Granville Co. Children

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-Information courtesy Granville County Public Schools

Granville County Public Schools announces upcoming dates and sites for the “Book Bus.” The Book Bus will travel to different areas in the county to give a book and snack to each participating child.

This is a great way to build your home library! Drive-up and walk-up service, with social distancing, will be available. The Book Bus will not run if rain prevents the use of social distancing protocols.

Please see flyer below for times and locations:

J.F. Webb Merger

JF Webb, School of Health & Life Sciences to Merge Into Single High School

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-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

This past week, the final graduating class of JF Webb School of Health and Life Sciences walked across the stage. Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, the school will merge into a single high school on the campus.

While this marks the closing of one school, it signals the dramatic transformation of the entire school campus. JF Webb High School will begin the next academic year with the school’s focus and organization redesigned, to what will be known moving forward as, “The Warrior Way.”

The Warrior Way school redesign will keep all course offerings and special programs associated with the School of Health and Life Sciences and offer an additional NEW focus on providing students the opportunity to earn college credits through VGCC.

Much like an Early College program, students at JF Webb will be provided a streamlined track for dual enrollment at the college’s main campus just seven miles away. The school will offer special guidance and counseling to provide students the opportunity to earn enough credits to graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree.

Students will also have the opportunity to earn other specialty degrees and certificates related to a variety of careers. All of this will be provided at no cost to families – textbooks and tuition will all be included. The school is also in the process of planning regular shuttle service to and from JF Webb and the VGCC main campus on a daily basis.

JF Webb Principal Amy Rice offered her comments, saying “Warrior pride runs deep in our community. I am super excited about the changes going on at our school. The Warrior Way provides clear pathways forward for every student, no matter their interest. However, one thing all pathways have in common is a focus on post-secondary education. Every graduate from our school will have a clear advantage in moving on to the next step in their life’s plan. Whether it be a career in the world of biomedical sciences as a scientist or medical professional, a leadership position in business or industry, a well-paid job in one of the countless skilled trades, or service in the military, JF Webb is the place to launch those plans. The school has an amazing history and an even brighter future. If you haven’t checked us out lately, it’s time to give us another look.”

In addition to the restructuring of the school’s organization, the community will also notice significant upgrades and improvements to the physical campus as well.

To learn more about how you or your child can become part of the Warrior Way, reach out to Principal Rice ricea@gcs.k12.nc.us today.

School Resource Officers Give Back to Community

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

-Press Release, Granville County Government

Over the last three months, School Resource Officers (SRO’s) of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office have been providing assistance to local food pantries and area churches during the Covid-19 pandemic, packing, distributing and delivering more than 500,000 pounds of food to those in need. 

Those receiving assistance by Granville County’s School Resource Officers include the following locations, with food distribution totals reported through these efforts:

  • Area Congregations in Ministry (ACIM) – 325,817 pounds of food, which included 522 Senior Boxes (Commodity Supplemental Food Program for Seniors) and 815 family boxes (Food Bank COVID Relief Boxes);
  • Pleasant Grove Baptist Church – 2,500 cases (average 40 lbs. a box), totaling 100,000 pounds;
  • Delrayno Baptist Church – 2,500 cases (average 40 lbs. a box) totaling 100,000 pounds; and
  • FBC Food Bank, Creedmoor – 279 families served.

In addition, more than 24,000 boxes of breakfast, lunch and snacks through the BackPack Buddies program were delivered over a six-day period.

“Many of the volunteers we normally count on were not able to leave their homes due to the Stay At Home Order,” said Sue Hinman, Executive Director of ACIM. “If the SROs had not been there, we would not have been able to provide food to the many people who needed us. We truly appreciate their support and their help when we needed it most.”

The Granville County Sheriff’s Office has nine (9) School Resource Officers on staff. Following North Carolina school closure mandates – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – these SRO’s have assisted with food distribution since mid-March, making additional connections with families all over the county. 

“Every single SRO was a part of this effort,” Chief Deputy Sherwood Boyd remarked. “The kids all know that our SRO’s are there to help, and now their parents do, too. We were proud to have assisted our community in this way, helping meet the needs of our residents.”

Granville County Public Schools

School Re-Entry Plans Topic of Today’s Granville Board of Education Meeting

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-Information courtesy Granville County Public Schools

The Granville County Board of Education will meet for a Special Meeting on Monday, June 15, 2020, at 4 p.m.

The purpose of this meeting is for the Board of Education to receive updated information on school re-entry plans, updated budget information and other learning options for the upcoming school year.

However, in observance of the Governor’s “Stay-at-Home” Orders, this meeting will be conducted electronically, with members of the public invited to view the live stream. To join the live stream meeting, please use the following link:

https://live.myvrspot.com/player?udi=Z3Nj&c=Z3JhbnZpbGxlMQ%3D%3D

The Board will also meet in Closed Session in accordance with N.C. General Statute 143.318.11 (a)(6), 143-318.11 (a)(3), 143.318.11 (a)(5) and Section 115C-321 for Personnel, and Attorney/Client Privilege.

To view the agenda for this meeting, please click here.

NC Governor Logo

NC Public Schools’ Reopening Plan to be Announced by July 1

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

-Press Release, Office of NC Governor Roy Cooper

To hear further discussion on this press release, please go to WIZS.com and click on today’s Town Talk.

New health guidelines released Monday represent a first step to help North Carolina K-12 public schools find a safe way to open to in-person instruction for the 2020-21 academic year, health and education leaders announced Monday.

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) lays out a comprehensive set of baseline health practices that public schools should follow to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for students, staff, and families. In addition to specific requirements, the Toolkit recommends practices that schools should implement to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while allowing in-person teaching to resume.

Governor Roy Cooper, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis, and NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen shared the guidance Monday.

“Getting children back to school to learn is a high priority, but they must be able to do so in the safest way possible,” said Governor Cooper. “Every child, family and public school educator in North Carolina deserve strong protection to lower the risk of virus spread.”

Schools are asked to plan for reopening under three scenarios – Plan A: Minimal Social Distancing, Plan B: Moderate Social Distancing, or Plan C: Remote Learning Only. NCDHHS, in consultation with the State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction, will announce by July 1 which of the three plans should be implemented for schools to most safely reopen. The remaining plans may be needed if the state’s COVID-19 metrics change over time.

“Opening schools will be possible if we keep working together to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will each need to do our part and practice the 3 Ws – Wear a cloth face covering. Wait six feet apart. Wash your hands frequently. These easy actions will have an outsized impact in keeping viral spread low in order to help get our children back to school,” said Cohen.

The Public Health Toolkit was developed collaboratively by DHHS and DPI with input from a range of stakeholders across the state, including local superintendents, State Board of Education members, the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Council, and members of the Governor’s COVID-19 Education and Nutrition Working Group.

“We are working together to balance the need for all of our children to get back to school – especially children who rely on public schools for their education, health, safety and nutrition – while at the same time proceeding cautiously and deliberately to protect their health and safety,” said Chairman Davis. “I know meeting these public health requirements will take a tremendous effort by our schools – but I also know we are doing the right thing and that our schools will rise to the challenge.”

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit will be a companion to operational guidance under development by DPI that will offer strategies for how to implement the public health guidance and cover other non-health areas for reopening planning, including scheduling, instructional practice, and staff training.

“Today, North Carolinians have the important first step of returning to schools in the fall with this release of the final health guidance for schools from the NC Department of Health and Human Services,” Superintendent Johnson said. “In addition, the North Carolina education agency has already been leading workgroups, comprised of diverse stakeholders from teachers to school staff to superintendents to other support professionals, to create draft operational strategies that will help our school systems prepare for the fall. We will now seek feedback on the draft operational strategies from other stakeholders across the state to ensure that we best capture the needs of all our schools.”

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Heath Toolkit (K-12) was developed using the most current CDC guidance for schools and includes requirements and recommendations for eight areas: Social Distancing and Minimizing Exposure; Cloth Face Coverings; Protecting Vulnerable Populations; Cleaning and Hygiene; Monitoring for Symptoms; Handling Suspected, Presumptive or Confirmed Positive Cases of COVID-19; Communication and Combating Misinformation; Water and Ventilation Systems; Transportation; and Coping and Resilience.

For example, it requires students and others to be screened for illness before entering school and requires floor markings to maintain social distance. It also includes sample screening symptom checklists in English and Spanish, a flow chart protocol for handling suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, and a checklist of infection control supplies schools may need. The Toolkit will be updated as new health guidance is released by the CDC and additional resources are added.

Questions about the StrongSchoolsNC Public Heath Toolkit (K-12) should be directed to StrongSchoolsNC@dhhs.nc.gov (in English or in Spanish).

Dr. Alisa McLean

Dr. Alisa McLean Completes Year-Long Superintendent Program

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-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

GCPS Superintendent Alisa McLean was among 45 superintendents from across the state to graduate from the NCSSA Next Generation Superintendent Development Program Cohort VII.

The program is designed to support the growth, expansion and enhancement of superintendents using the North Carolina Superintendent Standards, said Jack Hoke, executive director of the NC School Superintendents’ Association.

The year-long program was comprised of six face-to-face sessions that guided superintendents as they reflected on and improved their effectiveness as district leaders; focused on their personal leadership goals and linked personal goals with district and state goals; and guided and facilitated the professional development of superintendents toward advanced levels of executive leadership as defined by the North Carolina Standards for Superintendents.

Dr. Alisa McLean, GCPS Superintendent, and Dr. Jack Hoke, executive director of the NC School Superintendents’ Association, are shown with Dr. McLean’s certificate of achievement for completing the NCSSA Next Generation Superintendent Development Program Cohort VII. (Photo courtesy GCPS)

Hoke said of Dr. McLean, “In addition to participating in high-quality professional development, Dr. McLean developed a strong network of superintendents to consult with, and she contributed to the discussion on emerging issues and innovative practices occurring in the Granville County public schools.”

Superintendent McLean offered her thoughts, saying, “The NCSSA Next Generation Superintendent Development Program gave me an opportunity to network with other superintendents from across the state and discuss trending issues and innovative practices in education. The program is designed to assist superintendents in the complex work of leading and guiding a school district. I appreciate the NC School Superintendents’ Association for organizing and delivering the program and for bringing all the superintendents together for the great professional development and growth opportunity.”

Board Chairman David Richardson offered his reaction during the June 1, 2020, Board Meeting. He stated, “In the midst of leading a district through a response to COVID 19, we are proud and excited to announce Dr. Alisa McLean’s graduation from the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association Next Generation Superintendent Development Program.  I can say that we have seen the fruit and profit of Dr. McLean’s participation in this innovative group, and I want to thank her and congratulate her for this accomplishment and want her to know that as the Board Chair, a Board member and a resident of Granville County, I want to thank you for your commitment to leading Granville County Public Schools with distinction, innovation and a caring heart.”

Jenna Holloway

Jenna Holloway Named GCPS 2020 Teacher of the Year

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Each year, GCPS celebrates excellence in teaching through our Teacher of the Year recognitions. Staff at each school selects a Teacher of the Year who then competes to become the District Teacher of the Year, who then goes on to possibly compete at the regional, state and national levels.

Unfortunately, the pandemic altered the traditional special ceremony and announcements held this spring. This year, instead of being recognized in person, the teachers of the year were celebrated virtually at the June 1, 2020, Board of Education meeting.

Jenna Holloway

Mrs. Jenna Holloway, first-grade teacher at Mt. Energy Elementary School, was selected as Granville County Public Schools’ 2020 Teacher of the Year. (Photo courtesy GCPS)

Senior staff and Board members recognized each of the eighteen school’s respective teachers of the year, showing photos and reading short biographies of each outstanding educator. Superintendent McLean then announced the second and first runners up, before Chairman David Richardson announced the 2020 Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Jenna Holloway, First Grade Teacher at Mt. Energy Elementary School.

Mrs. Holloway was presented with her trophy, flowers, yard sign and balloons in person the day after the announcement. She will also receive a check for $1,000 on behalf of the Granville Ed Foundation. Each of the runners up were honored with a trophy and $500 on behalf of the Granville Ed Foundation.

Superintendent McLean offered her thoughts on the announcement, stating, “We are sure that Mrs. Holloway will be a shining star among the others recognized across the country for this top honor. We are proud of her and all she represents.”

Board Chairman Richardson also shared his praise, stating, “I am so proud of all of these teachers and the dedication and love they have for their students. I know that Mrs. Holloway will represent our district well in this coming year as a true ambassador for our county and the profession itself.”

2020 Granville County Teachers of the Year:

Elementary Schools    

Butner Stem Elementary School ~ Amy Brown

C.G. Credle Elementary School ~ Shiloh Novak

Creedmoor Elementary School ~ Stephanie Layton

Mt. Energy Elementary School ~ Jenna Holloway  (WINNER)

Stovall Shaw Elementary School ~ Christopher Leas

Tar River Elementary School ~ Shelby Ford

West Oxford Elementary School ~ Karla Gravitt

Wilton Elementary School ~ Sherri Wilkins

Middle Schools 

Butner Stem Middle School ~ Kimberly York  (SECOND RUNNER UP)

G.C. Hawley Middle School ~ Margaret Hernandez

Granville Academy ~ Michael Spradlin

Northern Granville Middle School ~ MaShaunda Goods

High Schools    

Granville Central High School ~ Stacey Mangum

Granville Early College High School ~ Emily Nemitz  (FIRST RUNNER UP)

J.F. Webb High School ~ Rebecca Wilkinson

J.F. Webb School HLS ~ Jennifer Howard

Phoenix Academy ~ Amanda Grady

South Granville High School ~ Dane Fields

VGCC Logo

Enrollment Numbers Up for VGCC’s Summer Term

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Vance-Granville Community College has been working diligently to educate more students this summer. The hard work is paying off.

As of the beginning of the summer semester in late May, VGCC had 1,228 students enrolled in credit programs. That represents an estimated 11% increase compared to the beginning of the summer 2019 semester when enrollment stood at 1,101. The college is likewise experiencing an estimated 30% increase in the number of student hours completed, typically known as Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment.  

A significant source of enrollment for this summer is in both the college transfer and technical and trades credit program areas. VGCC also has a healthy number of special credit students from four-year universities taking classes. 

“We are pleased to see the trend for increased enrollment at VGCC continue into this summer semester,” VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais stated. “We are here to serve our community and are rising to the challenge of providing increased access to quality online learning during the pandemic. We look forward to offering more in-person instruction this fall as we help our community members pivot during this uncertain economy.”

“The college’s Student Engagement & Success team, faculty, marketing and many people have contributed to this effort. We are glad to see the college educating more students in the four-county area and the wider region. Our team is committed to being innovative and thinking about the best ways to provide quality instruction and support services to those who choose Vance-Granville. When students learn with us, they are ready for the workforce and/or success at a senior institution,” said Dr. Levy Brown, the college’s vice president of learning, student engagement and success. “Student access, retention, success and career preparation are embedded in our mindset, and it continues to show!”

Students are encouraged to apply and register for Fall 2020 now.

Established in 1969, VGCC offers more than 40 credit programs, in which students work toward certificates, diplomas and degrees. Area residents and businesses can also take advantage of a variety of continuing education/job training opportunities, as well as the High School Equivalency and Adult High School Diploma programs. High school students can get a step ahead by starting their college education early with VGCC courses.

The college has four campuses – one each in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties – and offers online programs, as well. The new “Vanguard Flex” program is offering flexible, hybrid schedules in the evenings and weekends on the Franklin Campus in Louisburg, to accommodate schedules for adult learners. 

For more information about the college, visit www.vgcc.edu.