Superintendent Weekly Update

from the desk of Kathy Amos

January 7, 2022

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Happy New Year from Superintendent Truitt

"I’m not sure anyone anticipates beginning their journey as state superintendent of K-12 public schools in the midst of a pandemic (and at a point in time when there are no students physically in schools!) but this was the starting point for us one year ago. In January 2021, there were many hurdles to overcome and unexpected bridges to cross, but I think about how far we have come since then, and I am filled with gratitude and hope."

Read the full letter here, and watch Superintendent Truitt's New Years message here

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Congratulations to the Lady Cougars - Winners of the 2021 Swain Christmas Basketball Tournament

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NCCAT Upcoming Free Professional Development Opportunities

The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) provides free professional development to NC educators in residential, online, virtual, school, and regional settings. NCCAT's professional learning is designed to help participants gain knowledge and skills to support student learning. Make plans today to join for timely, research-based professional development!

Spring registration is open now. Click here for more information.

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NC Eases School COVID Quarantine Rules, Especially For Districts That Require Masks

T. Keung Hui | News & Observer

Last week, the state Department of Health and Human Services shortened quarantine times in all schools for students who’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or who test positive for the virus. The changes match reduced quarantine times recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The periods of isolation and quarantine have been reduced, and I know that all of our schools and all of our people are grateful for that,” Dr. Betsey Tilson, the state health director, said at Thursday’s State Board of Education meeting. On Thursday, Tilson also presented a new option that would only apply to school districts that require face masks. In those districts, unvaccinated and not fully vaccinated students who’ve been exposed to COVID-19 can stay in school as long as they don’t have the virus. The state board voted Thursday to approve the shorter quarantine times and the expanded test-to-stay option.

NOTE: NCDHHS plans to release a further updated version of the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit on Friday, January 7.

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State Officials Share Guidance On OSHA Vaccine Mandate, COVID-19 Quarantine & K-12 Isolation Requirements

Last week, state officials shared important guidance regarding employee COVID-19 vaccination requirements, as well as revised isolation/quarantine requirements for K-12 schools. In a memo sent last Thursday to school district leaders, Superintendent Catherine Truitt noted school districts are currently NOT required to comply with the temporary federal OSHA rule requiring vaccination and testing for employers with 100 or more employees. While OSHA is proceeding with enforcement of the temporary rule, the N.C. Department of Labor has not officially adopted the rule, and is required to notify federal OSHA of its intended action to adopt or not adopt the rule by Friday, January 7. Truitt wrote, “while we wait for the legal process to unfold, DPI continues to advise that districts develop their written policy for compliance and consider plans for tracking vaccination status as well as testing for those not vaccinated.”

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