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Craven County Students use Multiple Paths to Success

Students of Craven County Schools have a variety of paths to success and graduation. Craven Evening Education Centers are one path students may travel along as they complete their high school experience. Through this program students are provided several different options in assisting them in reaching their goal of obtaining a high school diploma. New Bern, Havelock, and West Craven High Schools each offer Evening Education programs that serve various purposes and types of students. Motivated students may wish to get ahead or graduate early by taking additional credits on top of what they are taking during the regular school day. Struggling students who have failed a class have the opportunity to recover credits they have lost during previous semesters. Older students who have gotten behind in credits may add Evening Education Center classes to get back on track and graduate with their peers. The program also provides an alternative setting for students who are not successful in a traditional school setting.
The Evening Centers operate as a school under the umbrella of a base school. The goal of the program is to decrease the high school dropout rate and increase the 4 year cohort graduation rate. This program has been extremely successful in doing both. Our Evening Education Centers use highly qualified teachers in small classroom settings to provide both traditional learning experiences as well as a computer based curriculum through Odyssey Ware Smarter Online Learning. Students are able to recover up to four credits a semester, or obtain up to two new fresh credits toward graduation each semester. The Evening Centers operate Monday thru Thursday from 2:45 pm to 6:45 pm. If you are interested and would like to learn more about this program, please contact the director of the program at one of the high schools.
Leilani Camden, Director CEEC at Havelock High, 252-444-5112, Leilani.camden@craven.k12.nc.us

Eddie Riggs, Director CEEC at New Bern High, 252-514-6406, edward.riggs@craven.k12.nc.us

Angelyn Cox, Director CEEC at West Craven High, 252-244-3278, angelyn.cox@craven.k12.nc.us

 

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Once in a Lifetime Journey for Teacher of the Year

On June 21, I departed Newark, NJ with a group of 34 educators from across North Carolina as part of the Global Teacher Program through University of North Carolina’s Center for International Understanding (CIU). The ten-day trip to Germany provided us with the opportunity to examine the German educational system and energy independence as well as gain a greater appreciation for the German culture. Armed with my camera and school mascot, Tony the Tiger, I set off on a learning experience I won’t soon forget!
Throughout the course of the trip, we were able to visit several schools and interact with the students there. One thing is certain; kids are kids no matter where you go. My students thoroughly enjoy using boomwhackers to create music. Boomwhackers are brightly colored plastic tubes of varied lengths, each one a different pitch. I was pleasantly surprised to find them in a first grade class at Uhlandschule. My new first grade friend enjoyed performing the English alphabet with me as a duet for his class. During my visit to Eschbach Gymnasium and Realschule, I collaborated with two other teachers in the group to teach a class of 8th graders about life in North Carolina. We ended the lesson with a question and answer session. The students welcomed the chance to practice their English speaking skills. They were most interested in knowing if life in the United States is similar to what they see portrayed in the movies.
Germany has a tiered educational system. In this system, students’ academic progress is tracked from the time they leave primary school in fourth grade. Based on aptitude, these tracks determine which children will attend university, train in a vocational trade or prepare for a career in sales or customer service. I was very impressed with the vocational programs in Germany. While in Berlin, we toured the Siemens educational facility. There we listened to teenage students describe the quality hands-on, individualized education they were receiving. We listened as they described how they acquire communication skills, leadership skills and work in collaborative groups. Their experiences reminded me of what we consider Problem Based Learning (PBL) and how important it is. Lessons were inquiry based and students were highly involved in the learning process. Companies like Siemens and BMW, the two facilities we toured, invest a great deal of money in their educational and internship programs and take great pride in them. When we questioned why, they explained to us that they lacked natural resources. As a result, they feel it is important to invest in their future by investing in the education of their youth.
Our five city tour, which included Berlin, Stuttgart, Freiburg, St. Peter and Munich, also included presentations and tours which explained energy independence in Germany. The views landing in Berlin and Stuttgart differed greatly from the aerial view of New Bern. The country side was dotted with wind turbines and roofs were covered with solar panels. Of all the cities we visited, energy independence in St. Peter, on the edge of the Black Forest, was most impressive. St. Peter is considered a bioenergy village because the town produces all of its own energy through renewable energy resources including wind power, solar energy and wood chips. We were able to tour the facilities that make this possible. After driving up a long, windy mountainside, we found ourselves face to face with a wind turbine. The amount of energy these quiet giants create is remarkable.
One of CIU’s goals is to bring global knowledge and experience to K-12 education in North Carolina. We were fortunate to have many cultural experiences embedded into our trip. We were able to visit and see many important historical sites including Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, Victory Column, the site of the Berlin Wall, Berlin Philharmonic Building, Castle Hohenzollern, Dachau concentration camp, and so much more. Each not only serves as a reminder of Germany’s history, but its future as well. One of my favorite evenings was when a small group of us decided to attend a concert at the Berlin Philharmonic. The Russian All-Youth Orchestra performed one of the most impressive concerts I have heard. The 6 minute applause at the end of the concert was a reflection of the talent we observed!
After spending 10 days with 34 amazing educators, I returned to Craven County empowered and excited about the new school year. I look forward to implementing projects based on my experiences and collaborating with the teachers I met on the trip.

 

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An Additional Path to Course Credit

CDM Picture_1_1Students in Craven County Schools will have the opportunity to earn credit for high school courses in a new way this year. Currently students have three options for obtaining course credit: take the course in the traditional way in their high school classroom, take an online course through the North Carolina Virtual Public School, or take a course through the dual enrollment process with the college system.

The new fourth option being offered this year is Credit by Demonstrated Mastery. Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) specifically offers NC students the opportunity to personalize and accelerate their learning by earning course credit through a demonstration of mastery of course material without requiring the student to complete classroom instruction for a certain amount of seat time. The State Board of Education defines “mastery” as a student’s command of the course material at a level that demonstrates a deep understanding of the content standards and the ability to apply his or her knowledge of the material.

High School classes comprise three types of courses – End-Of-Course exam classes that require a state-developed final assessment (EOC), Career and Technical Education classes (CTE), and Non-EOC classes. CDM is available for all standard level high school courses with a few exclusions. To earn course credit, a student must demonstrate mastery by successfully completing the two phase process.

Phase I of the process for earning CDM is the assessment phase. Students must earn a Level 5 on an EOC state exam, 93% on a CTE post-assessment, or a 94% on Non-EOC exam to be eligible to progress to Phase II –Artifact (or project) Development.

The Phase II process establishes a student’s ability to apply knowledge in a meaningful context to establish clearly that he or she should be awarded course credit. For all courses, students will be expected to create a project that demonstrates their deep understanding of the content standards. Artifacts of any type may be assigned in Phase II, ranging from three-dimensional to paper-based to electronic to oral interviews.

Craven County Schools will implement the CDM process at all high schools and early colleges this year in two cycles. The fall cycle has an application deadline of September 3, 2014 and will only accommodate Math 1, Biology, and eligible CTE courses. The spring cycle has an application deadline of November 24, 2014 and will accommodate all standard level eligible courses. Interested students should contact their school counselor for more detailed information.

 

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Diploma Endorsements for the Class of 2015

havelock-graduation_14In 2013, the NC General Assembly passed Senate Bill 14 which encourages strategic planning between public schools and community colleges to increase enrollments in Career and Technical Education. Senate Bill 14 also established diploma endorsements to indicate whether a student is “Career Ready”, “College Ready” or both. Beginning in 2014-2015 students will be able to earn up to three types of endorsements linked to their high school diploma.
The new endorsements are Career, College, and NC Academic Scholars. The Career Endorsement is testament that a student has taken four or more CTE courses (concentration) within a CTE cluster area. The College Endorsement is offered in two options; a College endorsement or a College/UNC endorsement. The major different between the two options is the College/UNC endorsement replicates the general admission requirements for universities in the UNC System. The beauty of all of these endorsements is a student does not have to choose just one endorsement. A student may earn both Career and College endorsements as well as an Academic Scholars endorsement.
The requirements for the Career and College endorsements are listed below.
Career Endorsement –
A. Complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the student’s post-secondary plans.
B. Complete a CTE concentration in one of the approved CTE Cluster areas
C. Earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6.
D. Earn at least one industry-recognized credential. Earned credentials can include Career Readiness Certificates (CRC) at the Silver level or above from WorkKeys assessments or another appropriate industry credential/certification.
College Endorsement Option 1 – College
A. Complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the students post-secondary plans. The fourth math course must meet University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements.
B. Earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6.
College Endorsement Option 2 – College/UNC
A. Complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course that meets University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements which include a mathematics course with either Algebra II or Math III as a pre-requisite;
B. Complete three units of science including at least one physical science, one biological science and one laboratory science course, which must include either physics or chemistry;
C. Complete two units of a world language (other than English);
D. Earn a weighted grade point average of at least 2.5.
The requirements for the NC Academic Scholars endorsement can be found online at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/curriculum/scholars.
While students are not required to earn an endorsement to graduate, the endorsement designations will help with college entrance and career planning. If you have questions concerning Career or College endorsements, please contact your school guidance counselor or Chris Bailey, CTE Director or Deborah Langhans, High School Director at 514-6300.

 

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Creating Pathways to Prosperity

Pathways picture_1Every student faces many choices about how they will continue their lives after graduation from high school. Depending on their experiences and aspirations, students will decide to pursue post-secondary education, military service and/or a career. The Pathways to Prosperity process is a result of a partnership between North Carolina Career and Technical Education and the Harvard Graduate School to create pathways in high demand in high wage career fields promoting more options available for a student. The overarching goal of Pathways to Prosperity is to unite secondary, post-secondary, business and industry partners to improve career education at all levels to create a more qualified workforce.
Over the last few decades there has been great emphasis on students finishing high school and pursuing four year degree programs. While this has been a noble effort to reduce high school dropouts, it has not necessarily addressed the employment problems that have plagued America by having under skilled workers. It is estimated that over half of the college graduates under 25 with a bachelor’s degree are either jobless or underemployed. The “college for all” mantra is losing ground to a “skills for all” movement needed by business and industry. In fact, the fast growing jobs in the nation are “mid-skills” occupations that require an associate’s degree or an occupational credential. These same jobs have incomes that are equal to or higher than many of the jobs held by those with a bachelor’s degree. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 27 percent of people with post-secondary licenses or certificates (credentials short of an associate’s degree) earn more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient.
Locally, Career and Technical Education departments from Carteret, Craven, Onslow and Pamlico counties have invited leaders from school systems, post-secondary institutions, workforce development, economic development, businesses and industries to address the skill gaps on a regional basis. The local Pathways to Prosperity project will focus on several areas designated as high growth job markets with the first being the healthcare industry.
These leaders met on July 24 at Craven Community College to begin creating a strategic plan that would align educational offerings with workforce needs. The plan will address three main areas of concern with Healthcare educational pathways; employer engagement, career information and advising, and career pathway creation. While a strategic plan will be created over the next few months, the end product will be to create seamless pathways for students to meet the future labor market demands of the healthcare industry. While the healthcare sector was selected for the first Pathways to Prosperity plan, additional areas such as advanced manufacturing, tourism, and value added agriculture will be part of additional pathways work.
The Pathways to Prosperity process needs a variety of stakeholders from multiple facets related to a particular employment sector. Even though the Healthcare Pathway plan is underway, there is great need for additional industry leaders at the table. If you would be interested in serving on the Pathways to Prosperity committee, please contact Chris Bailey, Craven County Schools CTE Director at 252-514-6322. For more information visit the Harvard Graduate School Project to Prosperity report at: http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news_events/features/2011/Pathways_to_Prosperity_Feb2011.pdf

 

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CTE is the Map to a Career Path

CTE GlobalChoosing a career path is an important step in a student’s path to life after high school. Even if a student is college or university bound, determining a career path determines the type and length of post-secondary education needed. Many factors steer that decision, but having current job outlook information and experiential opportunities will help students choose a career path that will be exciting and meaningful to them. To begin finding the right career, a student can draw from many experiences in Career and Technical Education.
A career interest survey is the easiest way to start narrowing a field of careers to research. Several websites, such as CFNC.org, offer free surveys that ask questions about likes and dislikes, personality traits, and skill sets to determine types of careers that match those characteristics. A student can take that information and begin to select certain Career and Technical Education classes that align with those areas of interest. Because there is such a wide range of courses, a student may choose a few different courses to see which area they develop more interest.
As a student begins to narrow a field of choices, higher levels of CTE courses can help a student earn industry recognized credentials that can be listed on resumes and college applications. Some credentials are even recognized by some post-secondary institutions to earn articulated college credit. Knowing that students have multiple points of entry into a career, the earlier a student can earn a credential, the more marketable they become to business and industry. Over the last four years, Craven County Schools CTE programs have awarded almost 3,000 industry recognized credentials to our students such as Microsoft Office Specialist, OSHA Safety Certification, and ServeSafe.
Taking courses and earning credentials is just part of the career path search. Students should take opportunities to talk with their CTE teacher and Career Development Coordinator (CDC) to arrange job shadowing experiences. These short one day experiences allow students to step inside a business or industry to see the “real world” of their chosen career field. Students are able to see careers in action and ask questions of skilled professionals about all the aspects of their jobs. Job shadowing experiences can be done any time with coordination from the CDC and local businesses.
Career and Technical Education offers two additional opportunities for students wanting true on the job experience in their search for a career path. A semester long internship is a true on the job experience that immerses students into an industry or business setting. Internships are developed in partnership between the student, a chosen business, and the school’s CDC. A student studies and works in as many aspects of a business as possible and develops a portfolio of the overall experience. Participating in an internship can pay big dividends in the future when applying to college and/or a job.
A deeper experience that involves post-secondary work coupled with on the job training is the apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is one of the oldest forms of job training in the world. While not extremely prevalent in the United States, European countries such as Germany, have extremely successful apprenticeship programs. However, these training experiences are growing amongst many North Carolina industries. The apprenticeship is a formal training program developed by a business or industry in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Labor. Students can become involved in pre-apprenticeships as early as age 16 and progress to full apprenticeships at age 18. B/S/H Home Appliances in New Bern has had a successful apprenticeship program for almost 30 years providing post-secondary education and on the job training to many students in the area.
Choosing a career path can be daunting, but participating in CTE courses, job shadows, internships, and apprenticeships can help students decide the best options for their future. Business and industry leaders who would be interested in shadowing, internship or apprenticeship experiences for students can contact Chris Bailey, Craven County Schools CTE Director at 252-514-6322.

 

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Health Science teacher, Donna Stortz, teaching her students about patient care procedures.

photoCareer and Technical Education (CTE) has evolved in many ways over the last several years to include name changes and expansion of courses to meet the needs and demands of the workforce. Last week we explored four major areas, Agricultural Education, Business and Information Technology Education, Career Exploration, and Family and Consumer Sciences. This week we will examine the remaining four areas of CTE.

Health Sciences exposes students to the many career fields of the healthcare industry. This being one of the largest and fastest growing career clusters, students will find these courses help them narrow the field of healthcare career options. Students begin with Health Team Relations and can move on to two different levels of Health Science. Public Health Fundamentals is a state certified course that allows students to add on a home health care aide credential to the nurse aid credential. Students have the opportunity to participate in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) organization to extend the skill demonstration in competitive and leadership events.

Marketing and Entrepreneurship Education explores marketing in two realms. Marketing courses focus on marketing commercial products to the global marketplace. Sports and Entertainment Marketing hones in on the marketing strategies utilized in the multi-billion dollar sports and entertainment industry. Both of these courses are offered in multiple levels. Students can also learn how to take their ideas from inspiration to an actual physical saleable product of viable business through the course Entrepreneurship. DECA (Distributive Education Club of America) is the student organization providing opportunities to expand their leadership and marketing skills.

Technology, Engineering and Design Education has undergone the most drastic change in recent years. Offering students insights into various aspects of engineering, the courses teach students the processes necessary to make infrastructure, products, etc. operate and function better. Two of the newest classes to be added to this area are Scientific Visualization and Game Art Design. Students learn how to create virtual and three dimensional environments. While these skills are obvious to the gaming industry, the same skills are applicable in education and training, realty, and cartography where virtual reality environments are being used more and more. Students can participate in the Technology Students of America organization to test their programming and engineering prowess in competitive events.

The last but probably largest area of CTE is Trades and Industrial Education. These courses are traditionally the skilled trades. Students learn the basics of construction from the foundation to the roof in four levels of Carpentry. Before the house can be built, a good plan has to be drawn. Students in drafting courses learn CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting) techniques for both architectural and engineering purposes. The printing and publishing industry has changed tremendously over the last few decades and courses in Graphic Communications and Print, Advertising and Design learn the newest in digital publishing techniques. Digital Media courses allow students to experience creating digital video and editing for broadcast over a variety of delivery options. This year will be an exciting year as Firefighting, Public Safety and Emergency Medical Technician courses will be added in the high schools allowing students to receive the same training offered through the Office of State Fire Marshal and State EMS Director. All of the trade areas are represented in competitive events through the student organization SkillsUSA.

All in all, there are over 75 course options in Career and Technical Education through Craven County Schools. As times have changed, so have the courses offered to our students based on interest and desire. To find the course that is right for you, contact your school’s Career Development Coordinator or call Chris Bailey at 252-514-6322.

 

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Reading Camp for Summer Success

IMG_2026Reading Camp for Summer Success

 Read any good books lately? Some third grade students from across Craven County are heading back to school for additional reading practice this June and July. The Read to Achieve law, effective July 2013, requires students to demonstrate reading on or above grade level by the end of third grade. Students who did not meet this requirement by the end of the school year are attending Reading Camp. This program isproviding additional instructional time to help students gain the skills necessary to read on grade-level prior to the beginning of the new school year.

Reading Camp began on June 23 and runs through July 10. Camp hours are 8:00-2:30 each Monday-Thursday of the three week camp. A day in Reading Camp includes many opportunities for reading practice with peers and adults. Craven County Schools is providing this campat Oaks Road Elementary, Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary and Roger Bell Elementary . Transportation and two meals are provided to any third graders who are working to meet the Read to Achieve requirements.

The small classes allow students to work with a certified teacher on a variety of reading strategies to strengthen the process of reading and the understanding of what is read. During the twelve days of Reading Camp, students have opportunities to show mastery of the third grade reading skills and will be promoted to fourth grade for the 14-15 school year, if these skills are demonstrated. Students who do not show mastery will enter a 3rd/4th transition class where fourth grade math, science, social studies, etc. will be taught while reading instruction will focus on a student’s individual level and needs.

When asked about the best part of Reading Camp, one student commented that, “Reading Camp is cool because we read about science”. Another student said, “Reading in camp is helping with my fluency.”

 

 

 

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Valedictorian – Quinn Gross – New Bern High School

NBH Valedictorian 2014Over the course of my educational career, it is some slim possibility that I cannot look back upon these years without a sense of accomplishment, a sentiment that, even should this time is my life be such a fraction of what shall be achieved in the future, that these times now past have been formative to my experiences as an individual. Despite, or rather, in consequence of the difficulties and obstacles that have occurred throughout my scholarly career, among which include being a child of a military family moving every couple years, living between divorced parents, and facing medical issues within our family, these educational and personal experiences have been formative and instrumental in my perseverance and pursuit of success, both inside and outside the classroom. Both as a student studying the compendiums of human knowledge and as an individual amongst my peers of youths being socialized in order to take their first step into the complex world we find ourselves, even small achievements, as well as failures and neutral occurrences, provided for the cumultive building of my character, achieving the net sum of who I am today. Interests, biases, ideologies, even one’s favorite genre of music are driven by the experiences engaged in throughout one’s lifetime, and, for a student leaving their mandatory education for the first time, it would appear that my most recent experiences and achievements, particularly graduating as valedictorian, would be most partial to the shaping of my mindset as I stepped across the stage to receive my diploma. With these basic presumptions detailed as to how I see my experiences interacting in the development of my character, perhaps it is most appropriate to illustrate this claim with examples of some achievements and how they helped define me.

            Many of what I view as achievements of my high school career pertain not to awards, recognition, or victory, but rather to those where I have gained a new perspective about the world, or new knowledge of the intricate interactions that occur within it. Such is it that my experiences as a Duke TIP scholar, which allowed me to attend Duke University in which I studied neuroscience, played the role in driving my interest in how the mind is an emergent property of the material brain. This new perspective, a keystone of modern neuroscientific theory, granted the perspective in viewing how the material body defines the perception of consciousness, a continual narrative about reality that is the mind. Another summer at Duke, I studied nanotechnology which granted insights into the way material science was increasingly defining the capabilities of human engineering by allowing synthetic biochemistry to be achieved in an otherwise sterile system. And during this past year as a senior at New Bern High School, I had the opportunity to work as a teacher assistant for the honors chemistry class, which significantly influenced my character and contributed to the selection of one of the majors I will be pursuing at university, chemistry. These experiences helped develop a significant interest in being a lifelong learner as well as contributing to my character as an individual, always looking to pursue new frontiers of human understanding through determination, perseverance, and ingenuity. A future goal of mine being the creation of new developments in technology and society in order to improve the world in which we cohabitate amongst one another.

 And of course there is this notion of being valedictorian, not only the achievements most recently acknowledged, but the pinnacle of achievement that can be accomplished for a student during their studies. This honor is not only for myself, but also a testament to the wonderful teachers that have allowed me to thrive in my scholastic endeavors and an honor to the students in those classes who always provided for rich and intriguing conversation and discussion; the honor is also for my family, my mother, sister, and father, who have always provided support for my studies and have set me on the path to becoming a productive member of society. It is not only a great honor to have achieved the recognition of this position for the class of 2014, but it is also an inspiration to encourage the continued pursuit of knowledge and learning for years to come.

             And as I should intend to pursue my continual quest for greater understanding about the world, I look forward to, though with no small amount of trepidation, pursue my undergraduate studies in chemistry and physics at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. It is my hope and intention that I continue to expand my own scope of the knowledge of humanity, that I should be able to contribute to that vast sea of knowledge with my own research in the disciplines of physics and chemistry, ever continuing to push the edge, the limits of what society can understand about the natural world.

 Thank you to all who have contributed to and celebrated this honor.

 

 

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Valedictorian – Austin Seamster – West Craven High School

KMy name is Austin Seamster. I will be attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall (GO HEELS!). As of now, I plan to study business. I will not forget the invaluable experiences at West Craven High School I gained through being a drum major for the West Craven Marching Eagles for two years. Every year Havelock Rams and West Craven Eagles battle it out on the football field. This last year the big game happened at West Craven. Every time the schools play each other both bands come together to perform the national anthem. I had the honor of conducting the two bands that night. Seeing Royal Blue and Black uniforms on that field, all playing for one common purpose, will be forever engrained in my mind.

A teacher that has had a huge impact on my life is Mr. Brad Langhans. Mr. Langhans was much more than a teacher, to not only me, but also every student he taught during his 15+ years at West Craven. Sure, he taught us how to march and play our instruments. However, the life lessons that he taught us will have the greatest impact on our lives. He pushed us to our limits. I am thankful for my past experience as an Eagle and look forward to applying everything I learned to my future as a Tar Heel!

 

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