New Hanover County Schools issues survey to gather feedback on proposed instructional plans

NHCS Board of Education discusses plans for schools to reopen in the fall

NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WECT) - While awaiting guidance from Governor Roy Cooper about school instruction for the fall, New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) is seeking feedback on Plans A, B and C.

At the school board meeting Tuesday night, school officials suggested Plan B to the school board once schools are allowed to reopen.

In this plan, the school system would open schools at half capacity. The school board talked about alternating the schedules of students, some will learn in person for a week or two, while others go through online learning and then they would switch off.

Of course, there were questions about child care and how all students would be able to learn the same thing at the same time. Board members floated the idea of using gyms as classrooms to give students more space and the possibility of using other county buildings.

There was also some concern about students who rely on schools for meals but the district would plan for curbside meal distribution. Board members say there are no right answers and the conversation tonight is simply a road map as we wait for more direction from Governor Cooper.

“Recognizing that there are more students who need face to face or who have a harder time learning,” said Dawn Brinson. “Allowing everybody the opportunity with rotating. It also allows more flexibility, not knowing how many students will show up. It allows social distancing within the classrooms since there will be fewer students, so students are going to be contained to a smaller area for an entire day.”

Meanwhile, NHCS continues to develop reopening procedures for each of the plans in accordance with the North Carolina Guidebook for Reopening Public Schools and the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit.

Surveys have been created to get input from staff, students and families on face-to-face instruction, remote instruction, bus transportation, childcare needs and more.

Links to the NHCS Staff Survey and the NHCS Family and Student Survey can be found on the NHCS website and the deadline to complete the survey is Friday, July 10.

Questions about school opening can be submitted through a Community Input Form, which is also posted on the website.

Education and safety are both priorities; NHCS intends to provide a rigorous and meaningful learning environment that is safe for all staff and students.

The district is working in collaboration with the school nurse team to develop health screenings, precautions, and safety measures for the coming school year.

“NHCS is fortunate to have excellent school nurses who are New Hanover County Public Health employees,” says Director of Student Support Services Julie Varnum. “The school nurse is the medical authority in each of our school settings and their role involves the direct provision and supervision of school health services.”

Health and safety measures include risk assessment, health monitoring, staggered arrival and dismissal, limiting movement of students and specific zones for recess.

Click here for updates on school opening and COVID-19 resources.

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