On July 9, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board of Education held a virtual meeting to discuss plans for reopening schools this fall.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that he would be giving a statewide update on public school reopening some time in the coming week.
In light of this uncertainty, three possible plans were created by the board and a reopening subcommittee, which includes administrators, teachers, students, staff, health professionals and community stakeholders.
Plan A consists of a traditional learning environment with all students in school with preparations for blended learning. Plan C describes a completely remote learning environment for all.
At the meeting, interim Superintendent Jim Causby said the outline of Plan B is the "foundation" of the district's reopening plan, and although it's not completely finalized and will remain flexible, it will prepare parents and students to envision what school may look like this fall.
Though the meeting focused on Plan B, the board and subcommittee is prepared to shift into Plan A or Plan C, depending on local and state guidelines.
Causby said the plan will limit the number of students in the school setting to no greater than 50 percent capacity, while considering students' transportation needs and allowing for remote learning options.
After the first three weeks of learning, Plan B’s hybrid will alternate days of in-school instruction and days of remote learning between cohorts. Representatives of the subcommittee that designed the plan said they found this model more promising than alternating weeks or grade levels.
Here's an overview of CHCCS' schedule if Plan B is adopted:
- Week One (Aug. 17-21): Educators will use this week as an orientation week to allow students to reacclimate and receive their materials. During this week, only 20 percent of kindergarteners through eighth graders will attend each day. Each grade of high schoolers will attend on separate days, with Friday as a makeup day.
- Week Two (Aug. 24- 28) and Week Three (Aug. 24 - Sept. 4): Elementary schools would start the A/B schedule. Cohort A would attend school Monday and Tuesday and Cohort B would attend Thursday and Friday. Wednesday would be an all-remote day that schools would use to deep clean between cohorts. High school and middle school students would continue learning remotely.
- Week Four (Sept. 8-11): Sixth graders would be divided into two cohorts to attend orientation on Tuesday or Thursday and will have remote learning the other days. All other scheduling would remain the same, including remote high school instruction.
- Week Five (Sept. 14-18): All middle schoolers will start the A/B schedule, mimicking the elementary school model. All other scheduling would remain the same.
- Week Six (Sept 21- 25): Ninth graders would be divided into two cohorts to attend orientation on either Tuesday or Thursday and would learn remotely on the other days. All other scheduling would remain the same.
- Week Seven (Sept. 28- Oct 2): All high school students will start on the A/B schedule.
Here are some other things you need to know about the schedule outlined in Plan B:
- Adaptive Curriculum students: All adaptive curriculum students will be eligible to choose their cohort of attending days depending on faculty, space and safety guidelines starting in week two.
- Extracurriculars: In elementary schools, after school programs and extracurriculars will run until 5 p.m. on the days they are offered, and will only be available for students on the days they attend in-person class. For middle school students, extracurriculars and after school programs would run starting during week five until 6 p.m., with students only attending on days they attend in-person class. Extracurriculars for high school students are to be determined, but may start as early as week four.
- Full-time remote learning option: Families will be able to choose a full-time remote learning pathway for their student due to health concerns for the entire first semester.
- Pre-K: Plans for Pre-K are yet to be determined.
On July 15, the District's Instructional Services Division will host a webinar to discuss the CHCCS Remote Learning Plan and answer questions.
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