Reopening Update - July 2, 2020

Posted by Brent Anderson on 7/2/2020 5:00:00 PM

Since closing our buildings to in-person instruction in March, school districts across North Carolina have been anticipating direction from state officials on how they will reopen this fall. In June, the state shared three different options for schools to consider in planning for a return to instruction: 
  • Plan A involves moderate social distancing, an increased focus on handwashing and use of hand sanitizer, more frequent cleaning of facilities – especially in high traffic/high touch areas – and modification of normal school routines to allow for more transition time along with health and temperature screenings.

  • Plan B requires schools to provide all the measures in Plan A, but to decrease occupancy of facilities and transportation to no more than 50% capacity. This would require districts to possibly consider limiting attendance in buildings on an alternating schedule, using some combination of in-person and virtual instruction and limiting numbers of students on buses.

  • Plan C would require school districts go with remote learning only. This would be the most drastic of the three plans and implemented by the state only if there were a need to suspend in-person instruction.
In their guidance, state officials told school leaders to expect a decision on how they would be reopening by July 1. Yesterday, schools learned the state was still closely reviewing and monitoring COVID-19 data, and a reopening decision was going to be delayed for possibly up to two more weeks.
We wanted to share this information and let you know district and school administrators continue to move forward with plans to resume instruction for our traditional calendar schools on August 17. It is essential to get students back into their classrooms with their teachers. As a district, we are committed to providing in-person instruction for our students in the safest environment possible. We also understand not all families may be comfortable with a return to the school buildings. Staff are finalizing plans to provide these families an option in the fall. More information on the new Onslow Virtual School will be shared next week.
Custodial and maintenance staff have been working diligently to make sure our facilities are clean and that schools have all necessary social distancing signage and personal protective equipment. Instructional staff have been preparing plans for our Summer Jump Start program and developing learning resources which will benefit not only children in this program, but across the county. School administrators have been working with their staff on ways to modify school routines and building usage to meet the state requirements and recommendations.
As we continue to move closer to the August 17 traditional school calendar start date, know we will remain in close contact to share the information our school community needs. Expect calls, emails, and texts with updates, and be sure to check out the OCS district website for a special section dedicated to sharing our reopening plans and other information. You can also keep up with OCS through our official social media platforms.
Thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to prepare for the new school year.