What's Happening NOW: In the Age of Covid .. A Conversation with Beaufort County Schools' Superintendent Matthew Cheeseman | Eastern North Carolina Now

Welcome to BCN's new series "What's Happening NOW", a collection of informational, and, hopefully, entertaining programming, where we speak substantively to interesting and important people.

Season One | Episode Two

   These welcoming words, which for NOW, will be our opening to this new series here on BCN; and in this episode, we could not be any more welcoming and thankful to have Beaufort County Schools' Superintendent Matthew Cheeseman as our guest. Superintendent Cheeseman is a hands-on CEO, which takes him directly to the many hundreds of classrooms in Beaufort County Schools to evaluate the ongoing education process. Additionally, this Superintendent takes a direct overview of overall operations, so getting him in one's audience is quite a feat.

    Such was our good fortune at BCN, where we did have a fruitful conversation with Superintendent Cheeseman, here in the Age of Covid, as to how his administration would re-open Beaufort County's public schools. It was truly an enlightening conversation from a man who is dynamically in the know at the center of this unexpected conundrum. As many of our readership well knows, this struggle will be an ongoing process for the entire year - putting the schools in a position to best accommodate the education of our rising generation of citizens, so stay tuned to BCN: The Superintendent will return on a regular basis to explain the evolving process, and hopefully its success.

BCN's second episode is chock-full of information, and we present it as best we can NOW as we hone our production quality, which is evolving to its betterment (see future episodes, some already "in the can"): Below.

If you are interested in visiting the "What's Happening NOW" Season One post, revealing each episode, with a short description here in this Season One, please click here.

    It was my best intention to present all of these questions, even consulted my computer far too often to do so, which was to my detriment as the host. Consequently, pieces of these questions were asked and answered; the balance of what was not queried, at least a version of it, will be done at a later date during future guest visits by the Superintendent. Here below is a list of the questions I intended to proffer, and did so in part:

    1. Do you anticipate the August 17, 2020 reopen date to hold, and if not, have you heard of an alternative date?

    2. Is the State of North Carolina DPI instituting all guidelines for better Social Distancing practices of student to student, and teacher to student interaction, or, can your administration /Beaufort County School Board interject local policy, where it better serves the local needs?

    3. What installation of safety hardware is being installed over the summer that should aid in implementation of better safety conditions for best practices?

    4. When we spoke in early March, after the Governor used an executive order within his self-identified rule-making capacity within his interpretation of the Emergency Powers Act, you were not entirely convinced that uniformly closing every school facility in North Carolina was the right answer.

    Now, after the schools' physical plants have been continually closed for over 5 months now: Do you now believe that the uniform closing of the North Carolina Schools was the proper procedure at that time?


    5. Many pediatricians, child psychologists, and educators debate the issue of whether to stay closed, possibly remain more safe; or, reopen with prescribed guidelines, take the chance of some greater spread of Covid, and better serve the needs of the whole child, as well as the historical and extra-necessary needs of the community.

    Where do you stand on reopening now, and please explain in whatever detail you feel called to profess to support your position?

    6. Older teachers should be at greater risk; however, you have budgetary concerns, and must be prepared to get the most you can out of your assets to be as successful as possible.

    How do you deal with that ongoing, ever present conundrum of utilizing your education personnel?

    7. Will there be a forgiveness policy in the event of lower test scores on major testing, or a moratorium on standardized assessment testing until Covid is less of an issue?

    8. Will children be screened and evaluated to determine if they have unduly suffered any psychological trauma from the ancillary effects resulting from the Covid influenced closures of these public schools?

In this interminable Age of Covid, should school aged children return to school as soon as it is reasonably safe, or should they be held out of school in lieu of virtual /online education until everyone's safety is not a factor?
  School age children should return to school classrooms as soon as is urgently possible.
  School age children should return to school classrooms as soon as they are reasonably safe.
  School age Children should not return to school classrooms until everyone's safety is not a factor.
47 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?

If you are interested in visiting the "What's Happening NOW" Season One post, revealing each episode, with a short description here in this Season One, please click here.

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