Deadline for feedback on New Hanover Schools’ reopening plans extended to Monday

Deadline for feedback on New Hanover Schools’ reopening plans extended to Monday
(Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Due to an “extremely high level of interest,” New Hanover County Schools has extended the deadline to submit feedback on the three proposed reopening plans for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year.

The deadline to submit comments was originally set for Friday, but due to an overwhelming response, district leaders say families can now submit their comments until Monday. Survey responses from the community will remain open throughout the summer.

Ann Gibson, a spokeswoman for New Hanover County Schools, said 10,900 responses have been received by the school system, as of 3 p.m. Friday

Results will be shared with the public on Tuesday, she said.

“We want to make sure everyone has a chance to provide input. There will be a second, more detailed survey distributed by schools to their employees and families next week,” said Gibson

The school district is considering three operational plans — Plans A, B, and C — that are based on guidance from the state.

Plan A:

  • Least restrictive plan with social distancing required only where individuals may congregate, such as hallways, reception areas, cafeteria, restrooms, and locker rooms
  • School facilities are open; all students may be in school at the same time
  • Traditional instruction with preparation for blended learning

Plan B:

  • More restrictive plan
  • School facilities are open but social distancing is required
  • Limit density of people in school facilities to no more than 50% maximum occupancy
  • Enhanced health protocols
  • Blended learning for all

Plan C:

  • School facilities are closed; No students or employees in school buildings
  • Remote learning for all students, based on Remote Instruction Plans (SPLN-006) submitted on July 20, 2020, to NCDPI as a framework for quality remote learning

“Fundamental to planning for the 2020-21 school opening in August is the input of NHCS employees, students, and families. Survey links are being shared with staff and the community to gather feedback on face-to-face instruction, remote instruction, bus transportation, child care needs, and more,” the school district previously stated in a news release.

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,” said 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.”

These services include procedures to confidentially assess high-risk staff and students at year start; evaluation of safety measures like staggered arrival and dismissal for social distancing and health monitoring, limiting student transitions between classrooms, creating zones for recess, installing contactless sanitizer dispensers, and assigning one bathroom to each classroom; and developing policies for parents/visitors/volunteers in buildings.

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