Hoke Schools share proposed 2024-25 calendar

The calendar was developed with input from staff, administrators, and the school community

The Hoke County Schools Board of Education was presented with a draft calendar for the upcoming school year, at its Tuesday, March 12 regular meeting.

“A draft calendar was created using this current year’s calendar and looking at some surrounding school districts and neighboring counties to see what their calendars looked like,” said assistant superintendent Dawn Ramseur. The draft went through several rounds of input from a working group and the leadership team, before being shared with the district for feedback. Additional changes made based on survey responses.

The proposed calendar sees the year starting Aug. 26 with the first semester ending Dec. 20, and the final day of school being May 29, 2025.

According to Ramseur, staff concerns primarily revolve around the mandatory work days at the beginning of the school year, Jan. 3 being a mandatory work day rather than an optional one, the timing of spring break with Easter at the end of April and there overall being a lack of breaks in the calendar to allow for professional development.

The board approved this year’s Summer Program Plan.

According to assistant superintendent Chad Hunt, students may participate in summer programs and retesting in three ways: retaking EOGs or EOCs if the student passed the course but scored Not Proficient on the associated test, enrolling in credit recovery for a course they completed but failed based on the skills and knowledge the student needs to recover rather than a certain amount of seat time, and fully repeating a course for credit, which can affect a student’s GPA whereas the other two options do not.

“The summer testing must take place after the conclusion of the school year. Students must be presented the time for remediation prior to testing, the testing and remediation can take place on teacher workdays and also parents are to be notified about this opportunity and participation for students is optional,” Hunt said. “The summer test is the exact same test that the state gives for a regular EOG or EOC. So these tests will be the same length of time and they’re not shortened in any manner.”

The monthly vacancy report showed a slight uptick in vacancies within both the certified and classified positions.

“Right now, if we break it down, for our elementary schools, we do have nine vacancies in that area,” said executive director of CTE Dana Chavis. “For our secondary schools, we have approximately 41 vacancies. It seems that most vacancies are within our EC population as we have about 14 vacancies that we need to fill in that area. After EC, it seems that we’re struggling with finding math teachers as we have about nine vacancies in that area.”

The district is actively recruiting, with a job fair in the works.

Finally, the board was presented with a potential agreement with MCNC and DPI for managed endpoint protection.

“The state of North Carolina has entered into an agreement with CrowdStrike which is a managed endpoint protection service provider,” Ramseur said. “They entered into that partnership and gave districts the opportunity to connect with that agreement that they already had. In simple terms, MCNC will monitor and protect the school’s computers from cyber threats utilizing the specialized software that will go on each device. They will install this tool on each computer to watch for any suspicious activity and they’ll be able to respond quickly to any potential security threats.”

The agreement covers data access, security measures and logistics — and “by entering into this agreement, we are effectively saving the district about $14,000 annually because this is being offered to us from the state free of charge,” Ramseur said.

The Hoke County Schools Board of Education will next meet April 16.