Columbus County Schools release their plans for upcoming year

Classroom (Photo: Fbot / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper revealed that North Carolina public schools will be open for both in-person and remote learning in the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.

Now, Columbus County Schools has released their plan for how schools will reopen.

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  • K-3 will begin the school year on campus for the first month of school through September 11. Students will be socially distanced, expected to wear face coverings, and CCS will continue to implement stringent safety and sanitation guidelines.
  • Grades 4-12 will begin the school year virtually and returning to school on a staggered basis beginning on September 14. With the guidance Tuesday, the schools system may be able to get more grades on campus. CCS will know after completing additional studies and if it is feasible; adding 4th grade and then 5th grade if possible.
  • Parents may choose for their students to be 100% virtual.

Superintendent Dr. Deanne Meadows shared the following statement:

“Our first priority for the first month of school is getting our younger students in grades K-3 back in the physical school setting. There are many reasons for this, but the importance of teacher interaction with students in this age group is a primary concern. We fear without taking this step these students could fall behind at a crucial point in their development, especially in their reading skills. In order to bring K-3 students back on campus and also meet the social distancing guidelines set forth by the state, we have planned to use additional schools and school spaces. Limitations for social distancing also require a lower teacher to student ratio which limits the number of students who can attend even if we used all the school spaces that exist. We are also very limited on the amount of students we could carry on a bus, so transporting students will require buses from our middle and high schools to be used to transport the students in the lower grades. Because of these considerations, our plan was to start the school year in grades 4-12 virtually for the first month, then return all students including K-3, to campus on a staggered schedule. We recognize that this may not be the best option for parents. We hope that this plan will allow parents the opportunity and time to put a plan in place for their younger children when we begin the staggered schedule on September 14.  Our belief is that the best educational experience for students is in a face to face environment and want to provide as much opportunity for all students to have that experience as we move through this school year. We will provide additional information after we have been able to work through these changes from the guidance today.”