Dear Catawba County Schools Families,
We know that the 2020-21 school year will look different. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work through the logistics of providing the best possible education to our students while keeping our staff and students healthy through this global pandemic.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), and the Governor’s office told public school districts like ours that we will open schools on August 17 in one of 3 plans. You can view the state’s guidance 130-page document called “Lighting Our Way Forward” here.
- Plan A: Daily face-to-face instruction for all students in school
- Plan B: A mix of online and in-person learning
- Plan C: Fully remote learning for all students
Our school district, along with school districts across the state, will likely fluctuate between plans throughout the school year depending on the COVID-19 situation across the state and here locally.
Hopefully, this week, the governor will announce in which plan we will open.
Plan A and Plan C are relatively straightforward - either we are all learning in person at school (Plan A) or we are all learning at home remotely (Plan C). Plan B, however, is much more complicated to achieve <50% capacity in our school buildings. Based on the state’s guidance, we have 3 options in Plan B.
We want your input as to which option will work best for your family when/if we are in Plan B. No matter which option you choose, please note that the current mandate from Governor Cooper is that all staff, middle and high school students, will be required to wear a cloth face-covering the entire time they are on campus and on a bus. If your child is 11 or younger, students will be strongly encouraged to wear a cloth face-covering.
Here is an overview of each of the options:
Option 1: Two Days In-School, Three Days Remote Learning - Every Week
Students will be divided into 2 groups. Siblings will be in the same group so parents have consistency with transportation and childcare. Students come to school for 2 days per week and learn remotely 3 days per week. It will be the same 2 days per week, every week.
Monday and Tuesday - Students learn in-person at school
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday - Students learn remotely
Monday, Tuesday, and Friday - Students learn remotely
Wednesday and Thursday - Students learn in-person at school
Option 2: One Week In-School, One Week Remote Learning
Students will be divided into 2 groups. Siblings will be in the same group so parents have consistency with transportation and childcare. Students come to school for one week and learn from home for one week, with all students learning remotely on Fridays.
- Week 1: Students go to school Monday-Thursday and learn remotely on Friday.
- Week 2: Students learn remotely Monday-Friday
- Week 3: Same as Week 1
- Week 4: Same as Week 2
- Week 1: Students learn remotely Monday-Friday
- Week 2: Students go to school Monday-Thursday and learn remotely on Friday.
- Week 3: Same as Week 1
- Week 4: Same as Week 2
Option 3: In-School Learning is Prioritized By Student Need
We know that all of our students would benefit from being in school every day. However, if we open in Plan B, Option 3 will prioritize students for in-person learning based on several factors: academic need including, but not limited to, 504 plans and IEPs, child care needs, or difficulty of delivering content remotely (internet access, etc.) The total school building capacity for in-person learning cannot exceed 50% based on state guidelines.
Please help us plan by completing this short survey before Thursday, July 16.
Next week, we will send out a required “2020-21 Intention Form for Students” that details your options, including the outcome of this parent survey. Hopefully, by then, the governor will have announced in which plan we will open.
About the “2020-21 Intention Form for Students”
The “2020-21 Intention Form for Students” will outline parents’ 3 options for the next school year and will be required to be completed for all students.
- “Traditional School” which will likely fluctuate between Plan A, B, or C (as outlined above)
- “Online Catawba K-12 Virtual Academy” which is a 100% remote learning option that will be available for all students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. We have been offering Online Catawba since 2017-18 and had over 1,000 students enrolled last school year in grades 7-12. We are proud to be able to offer this program to all ages for the 2020-21 school year. This is a 1-year commitment.
- Another non-CCS form of schooling
Please lookout for this Intention Form next week.
As always, thank you for your continued support and patience as we all work together to make the best decisions we can for our students and families.