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Return to Learn Update: March 12, 2021

Governor signs bill that allows us to move all grades to Plan A    

Here are the top 4 things you need to know from this message: 

  1. Last night, Governor Cooper signed Senate Bill 220 that allows NC public schools to operate under Plan A for all grades. Currently, only grades K-5 can operate in Plan A (no capacity restrictions).

  2. There will be an emergency Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 15, 2021, at 5:30 PM, to discuss the return of grades 6-12 to Plan A. 

  3. We continue to work closely with Catawba County Public Health and appreciate their support. 

  4. As soon as we have more details, we will update our families through all of our communication channels.

Dear Catawba County Schools families,

I am thrilled that last night, Governor Cooper signed Senate Bill 220 that allows all North Carolina public schools to operate under Plan A (no capacity restrictions) for grades K-12. Currently, the state only allows grades K-5 to operate in Plan A. The details for Plans A, B, and C can be found in the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit by which all NC public schools must abide. You can also find it linked on our website.

This means we now have the ability to return grades 6-12 to more in-person learning like our kindergarten through 5th graders have been doing since last Fall. Since at least over 85% of our certified staff will be fully vaccinated in the coming weeks, and we all understand the importance of in-person learning for all of our students, we are very excited the state has finally given us this opportunity. 

We are thankful for Catawba County Public Health’s guidance and support through this pandemic. Jennifer McCracken, Public Health Director, and her entire team have been a tremendous resource to help us keep our staff and students safe. You will see Mrs. McCracken’s statement of support at the end of my message. 

Our Catawba County Schools Board of Education will be holding an emergency meeting on Monday, March 15, 2021, at 5:30 PM, to discuss the swift and safe return of grades 6-12 to Plan A. I will update you as soon as we know more. 

Thank you, as always, for your continued patience and support as we all navigate these crazy times. 


Matt Stover


Catawba County Public Health’s Statement - 3/12/21

Catawba County Public Health will continue to provide guidance to Catawba County Schools as it moves toward more in-person instruction under Plan A (minimal social distancing) for grades K-12. Through Public Health’s comprehensive school nurse program, which serves all three public school systems in Catawba County, our school nurses have been and will continue to be on-site at our schools as they reopen to help assure a healthy and safe environment for students and staff. Based on what we have seen so far, our reopened schools have exercised an abundance of caution, including a strong emphasis on the 3 Ws, to help keep people safe and stop the spread of illness at school.

Thank you,

Jennifer F. McCracken MPA, BSN, RN
Health Director, Catawba County Public Health