SUPERINTENDENT WEEKLY UPDATE
FROM THE DESK OF KATHY AMOS
OCTOBER 16, 2020
END OF THE 1ST NINE WEEKS
We appreciate our students connecting with their virtual classes, turning in their work in a timely fashion and advocating for their daily attendance and grades by engaging in their lessons. Parents, we encourage you to log into PowerSchool to check on your child’s academic progress. If you do not have access to PS, please contact your child’s school for further information. Parents, we also want you to conference with the teachers this Thursday afternoon. Please reach out to the teachers by phone, email or a virtual conference to discuss your child’s needs. We want to explore ways to help our students be more successful in school this second nine weeks.
Upcoming Parent Conference Day Teacher Schedule:
- Thursday, October 22 – 7:30 am-6:30 pm
Half Day for Seated Students on Campus and Remote Students
- 11:30 – Elementary
- 11:45 – High School
- 12:00 – Middle Schools
- Thursday, October 22 – Virtual/Phone Conferences with Parents from 1:00 pm-6:30 pm
- Friday, October 23 – Remote Learning Day for all students
- Students join a 9:00 am homeroom class meeting
- Report Cards Released
- Elementary Schools
- Thursday, October 22 for seated students
- Monday, October 26 for remote learning students
- Middle/High Schools
- Wednesday, October 21 for seated students
- Thursday, October 22 for seated students
- Monday, October 26 for remote learning students
- Elementary Schools
- The end of the 2nd 9 weeks is December 18th
MOVING FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING
I appreciate Dr. Jermey Gibbs words in his October WNC State Board/DPI Regional Update. He reminds us even with the complexity of issues we are facing daily, we are moving from surviving to thrive. We keep inching forward to help our students learn. As I walk the hallways, I continue to see all of the incredible things that are happening every day in YCS despite our challenges. For example, the increased level of technology skills learned by our teachers and students, grade levels and departments collaborating to solve issues, laughter behind the masks, custodians constantly cleaning with our backpack sprayers in order to keep us safe and the positive relationships that are being built with all of our students who are in our schools either virtually or seated. YCS is still the place to be!!!!
“I recently spoke with a district leader who shared a perspective of feeling like being in survival mode every day. With complexity and challenges like we have never experienced before, it is certainly valid to feel like surviving is a major accomplishment in and of itself. However, it really is important to see that there are bright spots and places where you are moving from surviving to thrive. I am constantly seeing and hearing about great ideas and solutions that are coming out of the western region. We are all learning from each other and making the best decisions we can, sometimes requiring that you go all the way down your list to Plan Z. I am consistently impressed with everyone’s pragmatic approach to problem-solving and how everyone is looking to improve instruction despite so many barriers to success.” Dr. Jemery Gibbs, NCDPI Western Regional Support
Yancey County Schools are proud of our partnership with The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, NC. We currently have 18 students who are signed up this school year for the advanced NCSSM Distance Learning Classes online. We encourage our high school students who have an interest in science and math to explore the many course offerings through NCSSM, MCC, CTE and our dynamic science and math departments at MHHS. To all of our middle school students and parents, you are going to love the future pathways, options and course offerings at the high school.
The current courses offerings are listed below in the MHHS curriculum guide.
*Please click on the link to view the course description, pre-requisites, and see a youtube video about the classes.
3rd Block- Honors Genetics and Biotechnology
1st Block- Honors Forensic Science
8TH ANNUAL STEM CAREER SHOWCASE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is excited to invite you to the 8th Annual STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 from 1:00PM until 3:30PM (EST).
This year’s showcase will be an entirely virtual experience that will feature keynote speaker remarks and the opportunity for students to connect with role models with disabilities who have thriving careers in STEM. Learn about how their lived experiences and diverse perspectives shaped their unique approaches to navigating and pushing boundaries in their fields.
Please visit this link to register for the 2020 STEM Career Showcase. Registrants will receive a link for the breakout rooms closer to the event date.
As a reminder, the STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities is designed for current middle and high school students performing at-or-above grade level.
ASL interpretation, live captioning and audio descriptions will be provided for the entire program and for each breakout room. Please contact Jessie Rassau at email@example.com or by phone at 919-707-9976 to request additional accommodations.
DATES FOR 2021 NC STATE HEALTH PLAN OPEN ENROLLMENT OCTOBER 15, 2020 – OCTOBER 31, 2020
Site Visits & Assistance
Thursday, October 15, 2020 – CO, Maintenance & Transportation – 8:00 am- 10:00 am
Friday, October 16, 2020 – Blue Ridge -12:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 – Micaville – 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Thursday, October 22, 2020 – South Toe – 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Friday, October 23, 2020 – Cane River – 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Monday, October 26, 2020 – East Yancey – 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 – Burnsville – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 – MHHS – 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Cleanup/Work Exceptions on October 29th and 30th
ARE YOU READY FOR 2021 OPEN ENROLLMENT?
2021 Open Enrollment is October 15-31, 2020. Here’s what you need to know to make the right decisions in October to save you money throughout 2021.
All active and non-Medicare members will be automatically enrolled in the 70/30 Plan for the 2021 benefit year. Members who wish to enroll in the 80/20 Plan or who wish to reduce their monthly premium in either the 80/20 Plan or the 70/30 Plan by completing the tobacco attestation will need to take action during Open Enrollment.
Please note that retirees continue to have a $0 premium on the 70/30 Plan.
Here’s some important news for 2021:
- No premium increases for the 3rd year in a row!
- Members who select a Clear Pricing Project Provider as their Primary Care Provider will enjoy a $0 copay!
- Reduced copays for members who visit a Clear Pricing Project Specialist!
- Preferred and non-preferred insulin will have a $0 copay for a 30-day supply!
- Preventive Services remain free – no copay or deductible – on the 80/20 and 70/30 plans!
Check out these savings that members will enjoy in 2021:
TOBACCO USERS: GET A HEAD START ON YOUR PREMIUM CREDIT FOR 2021!
(Active and Non-Medicare Members)
Tobacco users who want to earn their 2021 premium credit don’t need to wait for Open Enrollment. Tobacco users can complete a tobacco cessation counseling session at a CVS MinuteClinic or Primary Care Provider’s (PCP) office for FREE to earn a lower premium for 2021!
Tobacco users have until November 30, 2020, to take action. (If you combine your tobacco cessation visit with another service, there may be a copay.) For non-Medicare retirees, this activity is only applicable if you want to enroll in the 80/20 Plan.
Before your cessation counseling visit, visit the Plan’s website and print off instructions for your provider to ensure your visit is billed correctly and is FREE. This document is not required, but helpful for your provider. You will need to verify if your PCP offers tobacco cessation services as some providers do not offer this service.
If you are NOT a tobacco user, you will simply need to attest to that during the online enrollment process during Open Enrollment.
If you need additional help to quit using tobacco, the State Health Plan offers a variety of tobacco cessation resources to help you quit smoking, chewing tobacco, using snuff, or even e-cigarettes (vaping). Get started today on your journey to quitting tobacco!
FULL TEACHER LICENSURE SCHOLARSHIPS!
North Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow is dedicated to helping deserving individuals in your district get into the classroom. We are excited to announce our 2020 Scholarships! The month of October, we are offering exclusive scholarships to make it easier for our candidates to get licensed and start teaching! We encourage you to forward this email to those talented individuals in your district!
Scholarships Offered for: Aspiring Teachers, Emergency License Holders, and Paraprofessional & Substitutes
Deadline: October 31, 2020
Easy Steps to Apply to Full Scholarship:
Apply to North Carolina Teachers
Follow us on Social Media
Complete the Scholarship Form
Click the button below for full qualification requirements and details!
COLLEGE APPLICATION MONTH!
Across the great state of North Carolina communities are joining in to support our high school Seniors by encouraging them to apply for colleges and universities across the nation. Please encourage your family members, and kids in the community to apply for future opportunities in the workforce, military or college for future academic growth.
TOP 6 THINGS EDUCATORS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT NC COUNTDOWN TO COLLEGE!
1) NC Countdown to College is a month-long initiative to increase the number of students who pursue post-secondary education by assisting high school seniors with the college admissions process (residence, FAFSA, and applications) and ensuring that each participating student submits at least one admissions application. This initiative includes College Application Week, when many NC colleges and universities waive application fees.
2) THIS YEAR COLLEGE APPLICATION WEEK HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 2 WEEKS which means 2 weeks of free applications for those institutions that are waiving fees!
• Over 40 North Carolina schools will waive their application fees on CFNC.org during these two weeks!
• Advise your students to start on CFNC.org to ensure they benefit from the fee waivers. We cannot guarantee that fee waivers will extend to other application platforms, like Common App.
3) Register your site! Registered site coordinators will receive a cool mask (while supplies last)! Registered sites receive tips and tricks on a successful event! To help you prepare for the event, we are pleased to offer the Site Coordinator’s Resource Guide.
4) Live Help Sessions throughout the month for Q&A assistance on planning for college, FAFSA, RDS, financial aid, and college applications!
5) Technical Guidelines to ensure your success! Send them to your district level technical contacts before C2C starts to ensure that all of your students will be able to access the sites/URLs they will need. Many schools/districts use Zscaler or other network security that may prevent access to URLs unless they are specifically included as allowable sites.
6) Download our CFNC Widget for your webpage or virtual classroom to give your students a quick link to get to all of the important NC Countdown to College resources!
FROM THE US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) launched on October 1. New and returning students who plan to attend college between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. To assist students and parents in the process, the Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) has been sharing tips @FAFSA, and new blogs note “7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the 2021-22 FAFSA Form” and “8 Steps to Filling Out the FAFSA Form.”
Students and parents can complete the form online at FAFSA.gov on a desktop or mobile device, and, this year, enhanced help topics provide even more guidance through the form. As a result of user feedback, many financial help topics feature images of the form with relevant line numbers visually highlighted. Also, skip-logic functionality means applicants see only the questions that pertain to them. And, by the end of the year, FSA will launch an enhanced myStudentAid mobile application. It will have an entirely new look and feel and additional features (press release).
In related news, the Department released the latest federal student loan cohort default rate, which decreased (from 10.1% to 9.7%) for students who entered repayment between fiscal years 2016 and 2017. This new cohort default rate represents the lowest national rate since the three-year rate was first released in 2012. Schools with high default rates may lose their eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs.