New Hanover County releases school opening guidance

Updated: Jul. 20, 2020 at 5:47 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Staff members and families should expect more information on the opening of New Hanover County Schools Monday.

The school system announced last week that the intention for the coming school year is to operate on an alternating three-week schedule for pre-K through 12th grade students during the coronavirus pandemic. Pre-assigned groups of students would be in the classroom for one week and learn remotely for the other two weeks. Parents opting to keep their children home would also have a fully virtual option.

The county also intends to send parents a survey Monday. That will help the schools plan for an expected number of children.

The family guide was released around 5 p.m. Monday. They are “living documents”, meaning they can be updated by district officials when more information becomes available.

You can find the most updated information here. The website includes links to frequently asked questions, student safety plans, operations plans and information on technology and digital learning.

NHCS Back to School Guides are available in both English and Spanish at This...

Posted by New Hanover County Schools on Monday, July 20, 2020

Parents across the county are making tough choices about how they plan to educate their children this year.

Charlie Watson is a single mother with a rising 6th grader and a rising 2nd grader. She works two jobs and will potentially be adding the role of “teacher” to her list of responsibilities this fall.

The family has decided to take part in the district’s fully virtual schooling option. Watson says its the safest option until a coronavirus vaccine is made available, but she is still trying to figure out how to make it work for her family this fall.

The family serves as a perfect example of the challenges facing parents heading into the new school year, with many facing childcare struggles while trying to get them the best education possible.

“We’re gonna have to get tutors and integrate something. I’m going to have to quit one of my jobs to be home in the morning to school the children there’s definitely going to be a financial adjustment and there’s going to be more of a financial cost,” said Watson. “I have seen a lot of my friends asking ‘I need a babysitter’ but you have that added expense. If i’m paying someone to be at my house $10 an hour- that’s minimal for a good babysitter-- and i’m out there working for $12 an hour why am I going out to work? I may as well stay home, but how do i pay my bills? It’s a tossup.”

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