Today the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released updated guidance on diagnosis, symptoms, and exposure related to COVID-19 (see pages 15-16) in the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit. Additionally, a new test to stay exemption is included in the updated Toolkit (see bottom of page 16), with the following guidance:
As a reminder, per the Governor’s office, school districts can request testing kits and other testing support from DHHS as part of the StrongSchoolsNC K-12 COVID-19 Testing Program. Public schools can also request funding to hire additional school nursing support staff for school testing and other school-based health services. Please reach out to K12COVIDTesting@dhhs.nc.gov for more information.
Additionally, N95 masks are available for teachers and adult staff at no cost. Schools can request for N95 masks online. Please use the “Critical Infrastructure PPE Request Form” to ensure your request is prioritized for shipment.
As of January 7, 2022, 39 school districts allow masks to be optional, seven districts allow masks to be optional with certain stipulations (see map below for more information), and 69 districts require masks. The number of districts that require masks has increased by four since December 17, 2021.
NCSBA continues to track local school boards’ mask policies as districts vote monthly on whether to modify their current policy (required by Section 10 of SB 654/SL 2021-130). Click here to access a chart of school board actions. If your school district changes its mask policy or you have corrections to the chart, please email information to Rebekah Howard at email@example.com.
The State Board of Education met for its monthly meeting on Wednesday and Thursday. In addition to the presentation and approval of updates to DHHS’s StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit, the Board was presented with the following:
- NC Standard Course of Study Internal Procedures Manual Update
- Implementation of Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds Update
NC Standard Course of Study Internal Procedures Manual Update: During the December Board meeting, DPI presented its first draft of the NC Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) Internal Procedures Manual, which provides a consistent approach in the development of standards. A follow up presentation was provided by DPI staff during this month’s meeting, which highlighted the inclusion of school districts in the development of the Internal Procedures Manual and the importance of continued transparency throughout the process of updating standards. Next, DPI will begin working on the NCSCOS External Implementation Guide.
Implementation of Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds Update: Board members received a comprehensive presentation on the spending of federal coronavirus relief funds. The following links provide details on specific allotments:
- CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act & CRRSA (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations) Act Updates
- Updated CRRSA ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) II Budget Plan
- Summary of COVID Funds
- Summary of ESSER III Funds Appropriated in S.L. 2021-180
Additionally, Board Chair Eric Davis recognized Worley Edwards of Columbus County as the new Local School Board Advisor.
Click here to access all meeting materials.
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association