Like many school districts across the state, the NC Innovative School District considered many factors in determining the best way to move forward in starting the 2020-21 school year. We evaluated input from community stakeholders and partners, teachers, and parents to develop a recommendation.
According to the most recent announcement from Governor Cooper, there are two viable options for reopening schools in the state; they are designated as Plan B and Plan C. Plan A, which would have all students back in schools with minimal social distancing, is not allowed at this time due to ongoing health concerns associated with the increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.
Plan B is a hybrid model that includes a combination of in-school and online instruction along with reduced school capacity, social distancing, face-coverings for staff and students, symptom screening and other health protocols. Plan C is a remote learning model where students will receive instruction online from the safety of their homes.
Out of regard to student and staff safety as well as concerns I’ve received from the community, I am recommending to the State Board of Education that we begin the school year at our school in Rowland, NC, Southside Ashpole Elementary (SAES), with Plan C for at least the first nine weeks. The Board will vote on my recommendation at their August meeting.
The best way to ensure students grow and achieve is face-to-face instruction and we will eventually get to the point when we can get students back into school. Until then, we must put safety first. We will continue to monitor and assess the COVID-19 situation and the associated health risks and modify our instruction plan accordingly.
James Ellerbe, Ed.D.
Superintendent, NC Innovative School District