NHCS open meal pickup sites, implement new guidelines during school closure


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — With public schools cancelling classes across the state, New Hanover County schools are trying to navigate unchartered territory.

“Things are changing daily,” Interim Superintendent Del Burns said. “Sometimes hourly. This is a very complicated matter.”

Starting right now, any school-related gathering is limited to 50 people.

The district is working through the logistics of mandatory school closures, and is already testing out some new plans to make sure children get fed.

Starting Monday, 14 sites are offering meal pickup.

“Pickup is starting at 11:30 daily,” Burns said. “So they get the day’s lunch and the following day’s breakfast. parents can come pick up for the children. It’s for all children, and we’re hoping to expand this.”

The district is providing resources to keep students’ learning going. Packets of learning material will be available at meal pickup sites starting Wednesday.

Additionally for high school students, electronic devices will be available for those students to pickup starting March 25.

As for staff, they will be operating under optional teacher work days, so they can still get paid.

“We’re extending it even to part-time employees,” Burns said. “For employees who do not have a leave balance, we will be advancing leave. We have the authority to do that to ensure everyone, full and part-time employees are paid.”

If teachers do stay home, Burns says they will need to use their leave, but it will be addressed on a case by case basis. The district is looking into remote working for teachers too.

“We continue to focus on our opportunities to support students and families, and at the same time, keep safety as our top priority,” Burns said.

For other staff, Burns says they will find alternate work for them to do. The district is looking at extending the meal service through the weekend, and possibly having bus drivers deliver meals to students.

School Board Chair Lisa Estep reminds everyone there is a special meeting Tuesday, but asks you to watch from home. You can find more information on how to live stream the meeting here.

You can find information on the 14 meal pickup sites here.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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