(Click here to read the previous blog on this topic.)
On July 28, 2020, the Guilford County School Board held a meeting to vote on possible “scenarios” (which they renamed and added one additional since the July 14 announcement) for the reopening of school facilities. However, instead of voting on a scenario, they decided to extend remote learning through the first nine weeks of the scheduled start date of August 17, meaning that remote learning will last until October 20, the earliest.
What was decided in the July 28 meeting?
The only conclusive decision was that remote learning will be extended to the first nine weeks of school. October 20 is now the first scheduled day where students could potentially return to school facilities. However, that date is not set in stone. The Board realized that the data on disease trends are still incoming, and they could still change their plans for safety and health.
What are the timelines?
As of now, the timelines for the county to re-evaluate the situation are as follows:
August 11: review the Covid-19 public health indicators and make criteria for opening or closing of schools
September 8: a work session for re-entry
September 24: review Covid-19 public health indicators
Parents should be aware of these dates as more news and updates on the status of the school year will likely be released near them.
What are the public health indicators for GCSNC?
The Board of Education proposed that the indicators to be reviewed are: the downward trajectory of actual cases over a two week period, less than a 3-5% positivity rate in the county, and other trends such as deaths, hospitalizations, and positive tests, or any combination of the above. So far, it seems that GCSNC has yet to set thresholds for where those metrics need to be to reopen schools.
What are the new scenarios?
The scenarios have changed from letters (A,B,C) to numbers (I-IV). There are two changes. Scenario III (formerly C) is now 50% of 6-12 students Mon-Thurs, Friday as a cleaning and planning day, rotating the other 50% the next week. K-5 students are full time in school. Scenario IV (new) is another face-to-face plan: K-5 will be Mon-Fri full time. 6-8 will be in school on mornings Mon-Thurs, with 8-12 in school on afternoons Mon-Thurs, and Fridays being cleaning/planning.
What can you do as a parent of a Guilford County student?
Stay informed to what is going on, especially if you, your student, or anyone in your immediate household is in a high-risk group. Understand what remote learning means, and how it is accomplished.
Know that it requires technology, and what some of your rights are surrounding the use of that technology are. Enroll in a Virtual Academy if needed, or inquire more on what they are and what they do. The deadline for those Virtual Academies has been extended to September 15, 2020. For K-5 and 6-8 students, these Academies replace the school your child regularly would attend. A child enrolled in a Virtual Academy cannot re-enroll in their regular school until the end of a semester. 9-12 students and parents are encouraged to contact school counselors for options.
If you have custody arrangement in place, speak with your attorney on how matters of schooling and scheduling have been affecting the arrangement, or if you have oncoming concerns regarding Covid-19 and schooling. Click here for the GCSNC Board Presentation.