Planning Process & Current Status
Families across North Carolina are wondering what this year’s “back to school” will look like, and several within our own community are asking how the ultimate decision will be determined.
At the local level, individual school districts’ plans are guided first by the governor and then the state departments on education and public health. Our district develops plans based on elements of state guidance, which will then require approval from our local Board of Public Education.
On June 8, the NC State Board of Education and the NCDPI released interim guidance for school districts to begin planning for multiple contingencies, based on the state of COVID-19 in the fall. Based on this comprehensive guidance, HCPS organized a Re-Entry Task Force made up of seven teams from throughout the district to address the following:
- Plans and Scheduling
- Student Health and Safety
- Employee Health, Safety and Support
- Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health
- Student Learning
- Communications and Combating Misinformation
These teams are developing strategies to successfully accommodate each of the 3 plans for delivering education required by the June 8 guidance:
||the least restrictive reopening model, requires minimal social distancing, most closely resembles a traditional start to school
||adds additional restrictions for social distancing, incorporates a blend of in-person and remote learning to satisfy limited occupancy requirements
||suspends all in-person instruction, remote learning would be utilized for all students
The Re-Entry Task Force continues to actively prepare a model for each scenario, in the very real likelihood that transition between plans is necessary throughout the school year based on public health. However, the ultimate decision on how our students and staff return to school in August rests with the governor, which is still pending. Governor Cooper was expected to make his decision yesterday (July 1) but has delayed his announcement. When the governor does make this announcement, we will share with our families how his decision will shape Return to Learn for HCPS.
We understand many of our families are concerned about an in-person return to school, regardless of the governor’s ultimate decision. If Governor Cooper decides North Carolina schools should utilize Plan A or Plan B, HCPS is still committed to offering a remote learning option for students who wish to complete all their assignments from home. More details on this option will be released pending the governor’s decision.
As the state continues to narrow its focus and set a more specific path forward, the Re-Entry Task Force teams will refine their work to meet the needs of our HCPS Family within the context of the state recommendations. Part of this work will include seeking stakeholder feedback to inform the planning processes, which families can expect to be shared in future R2L Weekly issues.