North Carolina schools getting ready to Reopen and offer both In-Person and Online Instruction Options in August(N.C. to go with Plan B)

Posted by Andy Durham on July 14, 2020 at 3:31 pm under High School | 2 Comments to Read

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RALEIGH, N.C. —North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday the state’s schools will be open for both in person and online instruction in August…..

In-person instruction will have to adhere to “Plan B,” which restricts schools to 50% capacity when classes start in August.

Schools would have to make sure there is 6 feet between each person at all times — in the classroom and all other school facilities and on school buses.

Districts also have the option to participate solely in Plan C — which is virtual, remote learning only.

In districts where both options are available, families can choose whichever learning format is best for them.

Earlier this month, Cooper said it was his “No. 1 priority” to get students back into the classroom.

On Tuesday, COVID-19 hospitalizations broke another record, 1,109.

State health officials said 89,484 laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus have been identified, and 1,552 people have died.

Public schools across North Carolina with a traditional schedule are slated to begin the 2020-21 school year Aug. 17.

“Let me be clear. We want our schools open for in-person instruction in August,” Cooper said. “The classroom is the best place for children to learn.”

Earlier this summer, school districts were tasked with preparing for three scenarios: minimal social distancing (Plan A), moderate social distancing (Plan B) and remote learning only (Plan C).

Plan A
Plan A is the least restrictive and the one that looks the most like “normal.” Students would learn in the classroom with some social distancing measures. For example, schools will be required to mark hallways with arrows to help reduce crowding.

Guidelines from DPI say Plan A will only be implemented if “COVID-19 metrics continue to stabilize or move in a positive direction.”

**********Plan B**********
Under Plan B, schools would be restricted to 50% capacity. Schools would have to make sure there is 6 feet between each person at all times — in the classroom and all other school facilities, and on school buses. Administrators and teachers say this is one of the hardest plans work out.

Plan C
School districts are required to create a third plan where the district will continue with online learning.

Plan C will be implemented only if conditions in the state “worsen significantly enough to require suspension of in-person instruction.”

During the press conference on July 1, state officials also said they are shipping a two-month supply of masks, gowns and other protective gear this week to every public school in North Carolina as part of their preparations.

Private companies are also being encouraged to donate supplies to local schools.

Under the current statewide mask mandate, middle and high school students would be required to wear a face covering if they go back to in-person learning in the fall.

Teachers and staff would also have to wear face coverings.

Though no statewide guidance has recently been issued for colleges, Cooper said Cohen has had recent conversations with University of North Carolina System President Bill Roper about how best to resume in-person instruction for college students.

“We are well aware that parents, teachers, students are so anxious to know about school in the fall, and that is from K-12 all the way through our community colleges and universities,” Cooper said. “We’re continuing to get new science and new reports, and a lot of work has been going over the last few months among educators and public health officials.”

Cooper also announced Tuesday that North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 for at least another three weeks as he described the state’s current case count as “troubling.”

“North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” said Cooper, on June 24. “We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school.”

Phase 3 includes, according to the governor’s earlier press release about his three-phase plan:

Lessening restrictions for vulnerable populations, but encouraging people to continue practicing social distancing and minimizing exposure.
Allowing increased capacity at restaurants, businesses, houses of worship.
Increasing the number of people allowed at gatherings.
Continuing the rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregate care settings.
It is unclear if more types of businesses, including gyms and bars, would be allowed to open in this new phase.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Governor Cooper also said today that when the current executive order expires this Friday, July 17, North Carolina will continue to stay paused in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three weeks.

    On staying in Phase 2, Cooper said, “Easing restrictions now to allow more high-transmission activities could cause a spike that would threaten our ability to open schools. The most important opening is that of our classroom doors.”

  • Spencer Dixon said,

    As usual GCS is totally unprepared and it really makes you wonder what they have been doing since March. It appears every other school district has a plan that seems resonable and most importantly in writing.

    Why can’t this leadership LEAD? This has nothing to do with sports but what is best for our kids. With nothing in writing and no real direction it appears GCS is caught behind the 8 ball yet again.

    I feel horrible for the kids, parents and the teachers which are just working with the tools they have and catch all the blame especially the teachers. I am not a teacher but live with one and know how hard she worked when they went to a virtual environment. Not just dumping a bunch of assignments on a webpage and hoping kids do, but constantly worried about whether some were getting it and even taking phone calls from parents at 9 o’clock at night to help them through the process. The Gov. can’t even sign a budget from last year and they are expecting our teachers to work for pennies on the dollar. Try teaching a bunch of 1st graders online. NOT and easy task.

    I hope the GCS Board can come up with a plan that is similar to WS/FC and get it in writing. They have to be tired from playing from behind all the time.