Cleveland High Schools Receive $15 Million For New Auditoriums PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 03 February 2021 11:35
The Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund will provide a combined $15 million for new auditoriums at Crest and Burns High Schools in Cleveland County. 
The capital grant program was created within the Education Lottery Fund to prioritize counties that have a limited ability to generate tax revenue, carry high debt-to-tax ratios, or have critical school construction needs. 
A local match of $5 million will support the projects for a total investment of $20 million. 
"I am excited for the students and faculty at Crest and Burns High Schools, who can look forward to unique learning and performance opportunities in new auditoriums that will serve as a gathering place for their education communities," Speaker Tim Moore said. 
"The state House has prioritized school construction funding for the critical education projects in North Carolina like these, and I am proud that the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund is delivering on that agenda in Cleveland County."
Cleveland County Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Fisher also released a statement: 
"Cleveland County Schools is extremely excited to learn we have been awarded the Needs-Based School Capital funds for the Auditorium projects at Burns High School and Crest High School," Dr. Fisher said. 
"We are appreciative for the opportunity provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, as well as the continued support of the State Board of Education and the North Carolina General Assembly. We look forward to the opportunities to enhance our school campuses and educational opportunities for our students. As we continue to partner with local leaders and the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners, these projects will continue to make Cleveland County a great place to live, work, learn and play." 
Cleveland County Board of Education Chairman Robert Queen released a statement: 
"Auditoriums at Burns and Crest High Schools have been in discussion and planning for many years," Chairman Queen said. 
"This award from the Needs Based Public School Capital Fund will bring these projects to fruition. We look forward to what these venues will add to the arts education at both schools and how they can benefit our rural communities as a whole. Many thanks to our state legislators who recognized the need for more capital funds for our public schools and to our local commissioners for assisting us in the process." 
The Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund grants are in addition to the annual $100 million in capital lottery appropriations provided to North Carolina schools through the Public School Building Capital Fund, doubling the state's total commitment to school capital to more than $3 billion by 2028. 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 February 2021 11:51
Speaker Moore Urges IN-Class Learning This Semester PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 02 February 2021 11:42
State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) released a statement Tuesday urging all North Carolina school systems to safely reopen to offer full time in-person student instruction this semester. 
Legislation and funding to support reopening schools, protests by parents, and expert studies showing in-person instruction is safe and vital for student development, all demonstrate the need to get students back in the classroom, Moore said Tuesday. 
Strong state and federal funding is available to support safe reopenings, Moore also noted. The North Carolina legislature "held harmless" school system budget allocations notwithstanding expected enrollment drops, and billions of dollars of federal relief has been directed to benefit local education agencies. 
"I join parents, experts, and elected officials across North Carolina urging every school district to use strong sources of available funding to reopen for, in-person student instruction this semester for every family who wants it," Speaker Moore said Tuesday. 
"Student achievement has suffered long enough, and it is time for school districts to begin preparing robust opportunities for in-person remedial instruction now and over the summer. The massive learning loss of the last year must end now. The most vulnerable young people in our state desperately need a return to productive education communities that shape their development as individuals, and I urge every school district to safely offer in-person instruction this semester."
Senators File Bill To Reopen Classrooms PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 02 February 2021 09:34
Senate Republicans filed a bill to get students back to school after nearly a year of remote learning. 
Senate Bill 37, “In-Person Learning Choice for Families,” requires schools to provide access to in-person learning under Plan A (minimal social distancing) for students with exceptional needs. It also requires schools to provide in-person learning options for all K-12 students under either Plan A or Plan B (moderate social distancing). Families would still have the choice of remote learning for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. 
Schools will be required to follow all guidance from the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit, which was developed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 
"Our students need to be in school, there's no question about that. We can get them back into classrooms safely. Students are suffering and parents are watching their children fall behind in their learning, worrying that they'll never catch up," Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) said. "This legislation balances students’ needs, public health guidelines, and parental choice. In order to stymie the ramifications of learning loss, we need to give these families an option for in-class instruction." 
Studies have shown that with mitigation efforts schools can reopen safely. 
The evidence that school closures harm children is overwhelming. As far back as last summer, public health experts at Harvard University warned that school closures are "a disaster that some students may never recover from." 
Last week, the CDC concluded there is "little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission." 
Last month, UNC and Duke researchers with the ABC Science Collaborative reported "no instances of child-to-adult transmission of SARS-CoV-2 were reported within schools" during their examination of 11 open school districts in North Carolina serving 90,000 students. The researchers concluded, "Our data support the concept that schools can stay open safely in communities with widespread community transmission." 
Senate Bill 37 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee tomorrow, Feb. 2. 
Six UNC HBCUs Get Covid Vaccine Freezers PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Friday, 29 January 2021 11:32

The UNC System’s six historically minority-serving institutions have each received a new mobile freezer capable of safely storing and transporting COVID-19 vaccine vials.  These six freezers represent the first of 62 scheduled to arrive in the state in the coming months as part of Operation Deep Freeze.  

The new freezers, provided by the NC Policy Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are part of a broader effort to increase North Carolina’s total vaccine cold-storage capacity by 1.86 million two-milliliter vials.  The 15 research institutions within the UNC System will receive a total of 62 new freezers capable of safely storing COVID-19 vaccines at temperatures as low as -80 Celsius (-112 Fahrenheit).  A combination of 32 large freezers, 1 mid-sized freezer, and 29 smaller mobile units will add flexibility for transport and storage of vaccines across the state. 
The freezers will support state and local public health agencies, hospitals, and pharmacies with the critical logistics of sub-zero storage and subsequent distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in North Carolina.  Vaccines stored at UNC institutions will be distributed according to the State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan at the direction of state and local public health officials. UNC campuses that serve rural areas and underserved populations will receive additional mobile freezer units, including the state’s six historically minority-serving institutions.
Stirling Ultracold, the manufacturer of the freezers, agreed to offer a phased delivery of multiple shipments at no additional cost to expedite vaccine-related logistics across the UNC System.  VWR Scientific, who is the exclusive sales representative for the larger freezers, has also worked with the Collaboratory to identify and deploy loaner units at no charge to assist campuses and their local health partners. The first two were delivered to UNC Pembroke last week.
The NC Policy Collaboratory was established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2016 to utilize and disseminate research expertise across the University of North Carolina System for practical use by state and local government. In May 2020, state lawmakers appropriated $29 million to the Collaboratory to develop and oversee a pan-campus COVID-19 research portfolio that has resulted in more than 85 individual projects across 14 UNC System campuses.

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