Coronavirus, News

Reopening NC schools: what you need to know

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

With most NC schools planning to begin the fall semester on August 17, Governor Roy Cooper announced yesterday that all NC public schools will be allowed to open under a limited capacity, following Plan B of the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ three proposed plans. Schools can also opt for fully-remote instruction (Plan C) if they deem it necessary for their students’ safety. Here’s what else you need to know:

Under the plan, schools must reduce the number of people in school buildings by 50% and in school busses by 33% through blended learning. This model will implement a combination of  in-person and online instruction, plus enhanced health + social distancing measures. Note: Wake County will operate with only 33% of building capacity in order to meet both restrictions.

The NC school reopening plan will require all schools to complete daily temperature and health screenings + mandatory face coverings for K-12 students and employees. All non-essential visitation and programs will be limited.

In addition, the state will provide five reusable masks for every student and employee and has allocated two-months’ worth of medical supplies for each school.

Districts like Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg have also shared that they are working to provide safe childcare for families of school employees.

Students in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) will be split into a rotation: one week of in-person classes followed by two weeks of remote instruction.  Officials are working to put siblings on the same schedule. Wake County students and families can also pursue remote studies via the Virtual Academy — without losing their seat in their respective schools. A student’s current school will oversee their virtual online academy experience.

Under the Durham Public Schools reopening plan, the county will maintain in-person instruction for elementary and middle school students while requiring high school students to take courses remotely via the Ignite Online Academy.

Both Durham and Wake County schools will provide in-person accommodations for ESL (English Second Language) students + students requiring an IEP (Individualized Education Program) or other specialized services.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System (CHSS) will have a staggered reopening plan that will mandate remote learning for high school students. However, all students K-12 will be required to attend their school’s orientation week from August 17-21. CHSS will host a webinar Friday, July 17 at 12 p.m. to discuss the remote reopening plan + answer questions.

Contributed by Phoenix Berman