Published by Angel Hoggard on August 12, 2020

Operation Smooth Start BannerFayetteville, NC – In an effort to focus on the whole child while supporting Cumberland County Schools employees who are working hard to open schools in a remote teaching and learning environment in less than a week, Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr. introduced OPERATION SMOOTH START during the Aug. 11 Cumberland County Board of Education meeting.

The effort will focus on setting the stage for a successful school year by building a robust remote-learning environment throughout the district. Dr. Connelly explained the following guiding principles behind OPERATION SMOOTH START:

  • Build a Strong Classroom Culture: Teachers will connect with students, communicate classroom expectations, and host classroom-level orientation sessions to help students become acclimated to Google Meet and the Canvas learning management system. The live interactions should occur each day. The district wants to ensure that all students understand how to login, have materials and are clear on expectations. Teachers will utilize diverse methods, e.g., phone calls, emails, etc., to reach out to families to ensure open lines of communication.
  • Ensure Students’ Needs Are Met (Maslow before we Bloom): The district will support the social and emotional needs of students and teachers. Attendance is required beginning on the first day of school and throughout the orientation period, but no high-stakes assignments will be made before August 31. Efforts are to ensure that each student is able to pick up the necessary materials, understand expectations and is set up for success.
  • Provide Students with the Necessary Tools: District and school staff will continue working to ensure devices are delivered to schools based upon the requests from families. Schools will continue to coordinate, schedule and communicate distribution days through the first week of school. Elementary instructional English/Language Arts (ELA) materials will be mailed to students’ homes. Other instructional materials can be provided at the school level during school-based distribution days. Students and families will need help with obtaining passwords, logins and access codes to connect to learning opportunities.
  • Learn the Basics and Prepare for Success: Remote teaching and learning is a new normal for everyone involved – students, educators and staff. Everyone will continue to learn together, taking advantage of professional development, tutorials, and resources to master these new remote-learning tools. To support teachers during this transitional period, instruction should focus on the Google Meet sessions. Work on the district learning management system will not begin until August 31.

“This is a new frontier for all of us,” said Dr. Connelly. “As we embark upon a new normal, it is important that we pace ourselves — this is a marathon, not a sprint … we will succeed as long as we remain focused on what is most important — providing every student with equitable access to engaging learning that prepares them to be competitive, collaborative, and successful in our global world. You see, our vision has not changed. We remain committed to the success of every child.”

COVID-19 DISCLAIMER: All Cumberland County Schools district-level and school-based communications or guidance, e.g.,handbooks, websites, social media communications, etc., are subject to change at any time due to changing COVID-19 conditions and related health or safety guidance.


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