Guilford County Schools votes to start semester remotely for first 9 weeks

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County Schools on Tuesday voted to start the semester remotely for the first 9 weeks.

Board members voted 6-3 in favor of starting remotely.

The semester will start on Aug. 17 and board members will revisit the option for in-person instruction at a later date.

Earlier this month, the school system laid out three possible scenarios for the start of school.

In Scenario A, K-8 students would attend school five days a week while high school students would learn remotely five days a week. Students with disabilities or who are learning English, homeless or living in foster care would attend school full time, regardless of grade level.

In Scenario B, students would come to school two days a week and learn from home for three days a week, in alternating groups. One group would attend classes in person on Monday and Tuesday, while the other group would attend classes in person on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday would be a remote learning day for all students.

Scenario C would alternate weeks so that half of the student body would attend school one week, and the other half would attend the next week. Remote learning would take place on the alternate weeks.

Click here to view more details about the scenarios.

The school board released the following information following the meeting Tuesday:

Guilford County Schools has finalized calendar changes for the 2020-21 school year that were brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and related legislation.

In May, Senate Bill 704 changed the start date for the 2020-21 traditional academic school year to August 17 statewide, and required districts to add five days of instruction, without adding days to teacher contracts. The new state law also mandated that districts identify five days of remote instruction and announce them in advance to parents. 

Traditional academic calendar schools will begin on August 17 with nine weeks of remote learning. For this year only, four schools that are typically on an extended-year calendar will also follow the traditional academic calendar: Allen Jay Middle, Brooks Global Studies, Johnson Street Global Studies and Washington Montessori.

Ten-month employees will return with two optional teacher workdays August 10 and 11, in response to feedback from teachers during the public comment period. This will give staff more time to prepare for the upcoming school year. Mandatory workdays are August 12 and 13.

Remote learning would continue until Oct. 20, pending a review of public health data and trends, or until the school board determined it was safe to resume in-person instruction. Additional remote instruction days have been planned for Oct. 19, Dec. 23, Feb. 15 and June 4; these days could also be used as inclement weather make-up days as needed to meet state legal requirements. If the district closes for inclement weather, those days would automatically become remote learning days. Under the new traditional academic calendar, the last day of school would be June 3.

The school board also approved updates to the district’s non-traditional calendars, which will begin on August 5 with remote instruction. Schools will continue remote instruction until Oct. 19, the start of the second grading period.

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