The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education decided students will learn remotely for the first nine weeks of the fall semester at a July 16 meeting, following community backlash on a previous presentation that would favor hybrid education.
The decision comes two days after Gov. Roy Cooper announced schools would be able to open either under Plan B, which would include both online and in-person instruction, or Plan C, with completely remote instruction.
Just a week earlier, the Board met to consider its plan for hybrid education under Plan B. Since that meeting, Board Chairperson Mary Ann Wolf said hundreds of students, parents and staff members expressed concerns about the hybrid proposal.
Interim Superintendent Jim Causby said his recommendation to open under Plan C comes in light of this feedback and rising COVID-19 cases in Orange County and across the state — but despite its necessity, he said, it is not ideal.
“This is not a decision I want to make,” Causby said. “There are two other options that I’d certainly prefer.”
Causby referenced the looming return of thousands of UNC students to Orange County in August as another point of concern for the district and the entire Chapel Hill-Carrboro community, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to rise among young people.
Under the Board's remote learning plan, which was presented by Assistant Superintendent Jessica Donovan, elementary schools, middle schools and high schools would each have different scheduling to fit age-appropriate needs.
In a sample elementary school schedule provided by the district, students would attend literacy, math, science and social studies each day except Wednesday, with a one-hour "device-free" lunch, two hours of asynchronous learning and 30 minutes for "specials," such as art and music, built into the daily schedule.
As per a sample middle school schedule, each core class of math, ELA, social studies and science will meet twice a week. After each core class, there would be time built in for asynchronous learning, service delivery or a guided study hall.