Alamance-Burlington schools vote to adopt new virtual learning plan

Piedmont Triad News

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) – School district leaders in Alamance County approved a remote learning plan for students who must quarantine because of a COVID-19 exposure. 

On Monday the Alamance-Burlington School System Board of Education unanimously approved the remote instructional plan which rolls out next Monday, October 4th.

During the meeting, school board members said it’s to ensure quarantined students don’t miss class or get behind even further. 

According to the school system’s COVID-19 dashboard there were 124 new positive cases among students and 13 cases among staff members reported last week. It means nearly 180 students and three staff members are in quarantine this week. 

The system’s plan will allow the quarantined individuals to Zoom into class like in the beginning of the pandemic. 

Students will also use other applications like Google Classroom and Canvas to complete classwork. 

Teachers will have daily office hours in case students need help on assignments. They will be the primary connection point to share information with families.

“I don’t want teachers feeling that they have to use their personal time,” said Patsy Simpson, member of the ABSS Board of Education. “Their time that they need for their own mental health in order to make this plan successful and you talk about the plan and a lot have them still haven’t seen it.” 

A concern during the meeting was the potential increase in workload for teachers and consistency among schools. 

“It’s not that easy,” said Crystal Turner, an elementary teacher who’s taught for 27 years in ABSS. “You feel like you’re chained to a table when you’ve got Zoom because you want to give your Zoom kids just as much attention as you do your children in the classroom.” 

Turner spoke out to board members for the first time Monday. She’s concerned about juggling this additional responsibility.  

“It’s going to take a lot of working with these children and not just assessing,” she said. “The expectations that the school system is putting on us, they’re unrealistic and there’s a disconnect between them.” 

School leaders told FOX8 there are enough Google Chromebooks for the students in quarantine. Families can request hotspots if they need one.

ABSS must submit the remote instructional plan to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction this week.

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