BURLINGTON, N.C. — The Alamance-Burlington School System on Tuesday announced that the school system will operate on an A-B day schedule.
Schools will operate at approximately 50 percent capacity. Half of the students will attend classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and alternating Fridays. The other half of students will attend classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternating Fridays.
The school system’s full statement can be read below:
Today Governor Cooper announced that all NC K-12 public schools will open the 2020-2021 school year under Plan B. That means that schools will operate at approximately 50% capacity each school day when we return to class in August. For ABSS families, this will mean that our schools will operate on an A-B day schedule in order to maintain the important relationship that our students will have with their classroom teachers. In addition, with the A-B day model, we can ensure that all students have access to healthy meals while at school and provide additional meals for the days they are learning at home.
One half of our students will attend class at their school on Monday and Wednesday and on alternating Fridays. The second half of our students will attend class at their school on Tuesday and Thursday and alternating Fridays. We have prepared a school calendar that will make it easier for families and staff to follow the A-B schedule. We will have siblings attend school on the same days to make it as easy as possible for our families.
When students are not in class at their school, they will be working on lessons created by their classroom teachers at home. At the beginning of the school year, much like we did in the spring when schools shut down, technology devices will be distributed to students so they will be equipped with the tools they need to complete the assignments provided for their at-home learning days. All ABSS elementary students and teachers will work on the Google Classroom virtual platform for at-home learning lessons and all middle and high school students and teachers will use the Canvas virtual learning platform for their at-home assignments. Our teachers are coming back to school virtually at the end of July for additional training on the two online platforms we will be using districtwide. Our Student Learning experts are finalizing learning progressions for each grade level to ensure that students will continue to advance their education with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their growth in understanding subject content in each class.
For parents who would prefer that their child remains home and continues learning fulltime on a virtual format, ABSS is offering an at-home learning opportunity that will be led by ABSS educator experts on a daily basis. We will be contacting our families regarding their desire to have their children participate in a full-time virtual learning environment provided by teaching experts at their child’s school for the first semester of the school year.
Of course, this is not how we hoped to begin the school year, but the health and safety of our students and staff remains the top priority during this unprecedented pandemic. ABSS is doing everything we can to ensure that our schools are well prepared and safe to welcome back our staff and students. We have been planning for a variety of options and now that we have a final decision from the Governor’s office, we can begin sharing more details with our staff and families about how we will start the school year on August 17.
Part of the Governor’s new guidance today mentions that all students and staff will be required to wear masks at school and on the bus. ABSS had already been preparing for this situation. We’ve already ordered masks for students and staff along with plenty of hand sanitizer, additional cleaning supplies, thermometers and many other items needed to ensure student and staff safety. We have hired more school nurses to serve our children and will be adding cleaning personnel to increase the level of cleaning frequently touched surfaces inside our schools.
We will continue to add to our Back to School plan posted on our district website and we will continue to be responsive to particular situations, questions and concerns from our families and from our staff members. Please take time to review our plan, as well as responses to frequently asked questions. We ask for your support so that we can continue to work closely together to ensure every student’s success during this unusual situation. We will be successful together.
Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday gave an update concerning the next steps for K-12 public schools.
Cooper said schools will open for both in-person and remote learning, with key safety precautions to protect the health of our students, teachers, staff and families.
“This is the plan B that we asked schools to prepare,” Cooper said Tuesday.
Face coverings will be required for every teacher, staff and student from kindergarten through high school. The state will be providing at least five reusable face coverings for every student, teacher and staff member.
Symptom screenings, including temperature checks, will take place daily before children enter the school buildings.
Schools must create a way to isolate students who have symptoms and ensure they can get home safely, Cooper said. Schedules must allow time for frequent hand washing and schools will regularly clean classrooms, bathrooms, buses and equipment.
Districts can choose plan C – which requires all remote learning – if they determine that is best for those children, parents and teachers in that area.
“We know there will always be some risk with in-person learning and we are doing a lot to reduce that risk. But as pediatricians and other health experts tell us, there is much risk in not going back to in-person school,” Cooper said.
Here is a timeline of selected FOX8 headlines tracking the history of coronavirus and North Carolina schools. This does not include all coronavirus coverage or all North Carolina schools coverage.