RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper passed the baton to school districts to decide whether K-12 public schools will go entirely digital or go with a combination of in-person and online teaching.
Cooper said that schools that open for both in-person and remote learning will need to take safety precautions to protect the health of our students, teachers, staff and families.
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.
“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’s the breakdown of how Piedmont Triad school systems plan to kick off the school year.
Alamance-Burlington School System
ABSS Board of Education voted to begin the school year with nine weeks of remote learning, per the recommendation of Superintendent Bruce Benson.
When Gov. Cooper announced that schools could return to in-person teacher at reduced capacity, ABSS leaders quickly announced schools would open for an alternating schedule.
After seeing rising COVID-19 cases in the state and county, however, Benson then recommended holding off.
A survey showed about half of parents and employees would feel comfortable with in-person instruction, while the other half would not feel comfortable doing so and would prefer virtual learning, Benson said.
Alleghany County Schools
Alleghany County Schools will operate on an A/B week schedule.
Group A will attend classes in person Monday-Thursday one week, and Group B will attend classes in person Monday-Thursday the next week, with alternating virtual learning weeks.
Friday will be a virtual learning day for all students.
Asheboro City Schools
Asheboro City Schools initially planned to bring students back to classrooms with a hybrid plan at the start of the school year.
The district has since switched over to an all-online plan.
Students will learn remotely until at least Sept. 21, at which point the district will reevaluate.
Caswell County Schools
CCS was initially planning to reopen under a hybrid model. However, after revisiting the plan, the school board decided that Caswell County Schools would reopen on Aug. 17 with remote learning for all students.
Students will learn virtually for the first nine weeks of school, through Oct. 14.
The school board plans to discuss the possibility of bringing students back to classrooms during a Sept. 27 meeting.
Davidson County Schools
Davidson County Schools voted unanimously for the option 2 plan, which includes in-person and remote learning.
Beginning on Aug. 24, students will learn remotely until Sept. 14, where they will return to school on an A-B day schedule.
Group A will be in classrooms on Mondays and Tuesdays. Group B will be in classrooms Thursdays and Fridays.
No students will be in classrooms on Wednesdays. Instead teachers would use that day for planning.
As per the governor’s current orders, parents can elect to have their child be fully remote.
Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools 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.
Lexington City Schools
Superintendent Anitra Wells says remote learning will continue at least until Sept. 18.
Randolph County School System
Randolph County School System will welcome back students to classrooms, but not every day of the school week.
The district voted to implement an A/B schedule, which means students will be in class two days and learning remotely three days.
Rockingham County Schools
Rockingham County Schools plans to stick to online learning for the start of the year.
The Board of Education says it will be extended for five weeks through Sept. 18.
Stokes County Schools
Stokes County students will remain at home at least until Oct. 15.
On Wednesday, Stokes County Schools announced they would use Plan C for the first nine weeks of school due to cleaning and disinfecting supplies and personal protective equipment needed to keep students and staff safe is back-ordered.
They plan to allow students to return to class on Oct. 15. At that time, the district would divide the student body into two groups and rotate which group is in class and which is learning online.
Surry County Schools
Surry County Schools plans to cotninue learning remotely.
The Board of Education says the first week of school, which begins Aug. 17, will be an orientation week for students, parents and teachers.
It will be in person or on an individual basis, o that there will be no large groups.
The school board plans to reevaluate with the possibility of bringing students back to classrooms on Sept. 21.
Thomasville City Schools
Thomasville City Schools will reopen for fully remote learning.
The district says they plan to implement a new initiative called the Thomasville Remote Academy of Innovative Learning program, or TRAIL.
TRAIL is described as “an alternative to traditional face-to-face instruction offering personalized, rigorous online learning facilitated by Thomasville City Schools’ teachers. Participation in the TRAIL Program is free. Parents who are interested in their students continuing their learning remotely may apply using the form and directions located on the TCS Website. Both first semester and complete-year options are available. Applications will be accepted July 20th until July 31st at 3:30 p.m. TRAIL will begin for accepted students on August 17, 2020.”
TCS expects to continue online instruction until September 7, 2020, at which time the district will reexamine the data to determine how best to move forward.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
WS/FCS is set to start the fall semester remotely.
The school system says students will spend the first nine weeks learning remotely. During those nine weeks, the school board will assess whether or not students should return to the classroom.
District leaders say they have enough laptops and digital learning pads for students who need them.
Students and families who would prefer an all-virtual learning environment can enroll in the WS/FCS Virtual Academy. The academy will serve grades K-12.