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Staffing numbers for summer program looking ‘far better’

During a Beaufort County Schools Board of Education meeting last week, administrators said the school system still had some staffing gaps to fill for its state-mandated summer program that is set to begin in June.

Since then, plenty of teachers and staff members have stepped up to fill those needs. On Wednesday, Superintendent Matthew Cheeseman said he feels “far better” about the district’s ability to staff its summer program than he did a week earlier.

Cheeseman used teleconferences to tell teachers about the program and ask them to consider signing up to teach courses. The pay rate for the summer program is $40 per hour for teachers and $20 per hour for teacher assistants. Teachers also receive $1,500 as an incentive for signing up for the summer program.

“I think we’re going to be good in terms of teaching population, TAs and counselors,” Cheeseman said.

“It’s a great feeling when you ask for help and they say yes,” Cheeseman added. “They answered that call.”

Gov. Roy Cooper in April signed a bill into law that requires all public school districts to offer in-person summer school programs geared toward helping students whose academic performance suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beaufort County’s program will run from June 21 – July 30. The program will consist of 150 hours of instruction.

The school system expects just over 1,000 students to participate in the summer program. Chocowinity Primary School, John Small Elementary School, P.S. Jones Middle School and Northeast Elementary School will be the host sites for K-8 summer courses. High school students can take online credit recovery courses this summer.