A Message from Our Superintendent
Dear Catawba County Schools Families,
This will be a school year like no other. The coronavirus pandemic has changed almost everything about how we live, including the experience of how students attend school. But what it hasn’t changed is our dedication to our students, staff, and community.
Earlier this summer, the state of North Carolina asked all public school districts to prepare 3 reopening plans: Plan A which was 100% in school, Plan C which was 100% remote, and Plan B, which was a mixture of both. Last week, Governor Cooper directed us to follow Plan B as we reopen, which is a blended model of in-person and online learning in order to achieve a maximum occupancy of 50% in our school buildings.
While we are very excited for our students to fill our buildings again with their energy and excitement, we understand that many families are not comfortable with the option of in-person learning. We are happy to be able to offer your family a choice in how you choose to pursue your child’s education.
In addition to offering a combination of in-person and remote learning under the Governor’s Plan B (which you may have heard referred to as the A/B/C Plan), we are offering a 100% remote learning option through our separate Online Catawba K-12 Virtual Academy.
Either choice you make will give your students access to the same intellectually challenging and supportive environment, strong teachers and administrators, and everything you have come to love about our school community.
We ask that you carefully consider both options and complete a "Student Intent Form" to let us know which option you choose by August 1, 2020.
The safety of our students and staff is our top priority.
If you choose to send your child to in-person school in this A/B/C Plan, please know that we will have rigorous safety and sanitation protocols in place. Students and staff will be subjected to daily temperature and symptom checks, and all students K-12 will have to wear a mask (with a few exceptions for medical reasons).
Return to Learn 2020-21: Your Choices
Choice #1: The A/B/C Plan (Currently Operating Under Plan B)*
A mix of in-person and virtual learning for almost all of our students
In order to maintain proper social distancing and our maximum daily building capacity of 50%, students in grades 2-12 who choose this plan will be split into two groups and will attend school in-person Monday and Tuesday or Wednesday and Thursday. The other three days will be taught remotely by the students’ classroom teachers so there will be continuity between in-person lessons and remote lessons.
*Please be aware that if COVID-19 numbers fluctuate during the course of the school year, NC could change which plan they allow us to operate under, meaning it’s possible that NC could mandate that all classes move online (Plan C), or they could allow schools to fully open as the school year proceeds (Plan A).
Details about all plans including schedules by grade-level can be found on this Board of Education approved plan. Click on the accordions below for a brief overview.
Choice #2: Online Catawba K-12 Virtual Learning Academy
100% Online, 100% Flexible, 100% Consistent, 100% Free
For families who would prefer a 100% remote option, you may choose our Online Catawba K-12 Virtual Learning Academy now available to all students K-12. Since 2017-18, we have been educating students remotely with over 1,000 7th-12th grade students enrolled just last year.
Online Catawba is completely free to all Catawba County residents and allows your student to learn virtually from home. Students who choose this plan will start and end the school year online – meaning that their education plan won’t change if state requirements fluctuate.
Classes are taught by CCS teachers dedicated to Online Catawba and your child’s online learning needs for the 2020-21 school year. They provide a flexible learning environment with real-time and pre-recorded video options so students learn at their own pace, on their own time.
We will use the information we receive from the Student Intent Forms to inform the decisions we make for students, as we group students and make sure family members are on similar schedules. We will also use this information to analyze and consider scheduling, classroom setup, instructional practices, bus transportation, school nutrition, arrival and dismissal procedures, staff allocation, and many other important logistics.
Schools will communicate directly with families on all of these points at the beginning of August.
As we continue to plan for and begin a new school year, we ask that parents, students, and teachers continue to remain patient, understanding, and willing to adapt to changing requirements. It goes without saying that the upcoming school year will be unlike any we have previously experienced.
We also ask that you remain dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to provide a quality experience for our children while maintaining high health and safety standards. While we know this year will present many challenges, we know that our CCS family will turn them into opportunities to make education better.
Thank you for your support and commitment to Catawba County Schools.