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'Need to Know' Updates for the Week of April 18, 2021

The district recently released its academic calendars for the 2021-2022 School Year. Separate calendars have been developed for Traditional Schools, Year-Round Schools, Early College High Schools, and Cumberland Polytechnic High School. Each calendar can be found on the Cumberland County Schools' (CCS) Website, but can also be accessed by clicking on CCS' 2021-2022 Calendars.
The next Cumberland Family Academy (CFA) session titled "Building & Maintaining Healthy Financial Habits"  takes place on Thursday, April 22 at 6:00 p.m. This session will equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to manage money effectively. There will also be a Q & A session. Click here to register and to view the CFA Spring Schedule. An encore presentation of each session is posted on the district’s Facebook page and YouTube channel the following Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. 
 
 
CCS students 16 years and older can be recognized as a hometown hero when they donate blood by July 2021. The effort will help save lives as our community and nation reel from blood shortages. Cape Fear Valley Health System is entering high school students who donate blood into a drawing to win a new car. To increase a students' chances to win, family and friends can also donate and enter the student's name in the drawing. This opportunity to donate blood will take place at blood drives at area CCS high schools in the coming weeks. For more information, visit our website.
 
During the April 13 Cumberland County Board of Education Meeting, members of the Board voted to accept Superintendent Dr. Connelly’s financial plan for student success, which reaffirms actions outlined in The Cumberland Commitment: Strategic Plan 2024. While district leaders built budget business cases to maximize the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds and to address many of the pressing needs that exist throughout the school system, there is a need for increased funding at the local level. Therefore, the Board agreed to request $88.1 million in local funding from the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. This represents an increase of 9.2 percent or $7.4 million over this year’s appropriation to fund local budget priorities. The budget request includes allocating significant resources to support students’ academic acceleration and address the social and emotional impact of the pandemic on students’ lives. As a one-to-one learning district where all students have access to a Chromebook, in order to ensure the long-term success of this initiative, the recommended budget includes increasing the number of Technology Services personnel. Moreover, CCS plans to invest in all premier professionals by increasing the local supplement for teachers, assistant principals, principals and classified staff. It has been six years since the last supplement increase, and according to Dr. Connelly, the pandemic magnified the urgent need to recruit and retain top-notch staff. 
The local funding request also includes: 
  • Hiring additional personnel to support school leaders and enable schools and students to thrive in the aftermath of COVID-19; 
  • Increasing the number of project managers to address pressing facility needs in the district’s aging buildings; and 
  • Addressing anticipated salary and benefit increases as a result of projected state salary increases. 
The district also plans to allocate a significant amount of federal and state funds to support Performance, Accountability, Support, Empowerment (PASE) schools, which are schools designated by the state as low performing. The Board is required to submit its request to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners by May 15 for consideration. To learn more about CCS’ proposed budget, visit www.budget.ccs.k12.nc.us.   
 
Finally, don't forget Th3Ws: Wear a mask, Wait 6 feet from others, and Wash your hands.