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CHCCS votes to return to in-person classes starting in April

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The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district will start phasing students in to in-person learning starting April 19.  

The CHCCS Board of Education unanimously approved a hybrid return-to-learning plan at a Thursday meeting. Although originally set to vote on the matter Feb. 18, the Board pushed the decision earlier following a recommendation from Gov. Roy Cooper for K-12 school districts to return to in-person classes.

Tell us your thoughts on local school districts returning to hybrid, in-person learning here

Under the approved hybrid learning plan, students in pre-K, kindergarten and grades one, two, six and nine, in addition to students in Exceptional Children programs, will return to classrooms on April 19. All other grades will follow on April 26.  

Students will be assigned into a cohort that meets in-person either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday. Wednesday will be an asynchronous day for everyone so the building can be cleaned.

The Board also approved $1.3 million for HEPA fan filtration systems and personal protective equipment. The HEPA fans are commercial grade units that will be put in all classrooms and offices. The PPE will be made available for those who need it. 

“The need for additional PPE, to be able to have that on hand, is important,” CHCCS Superintendent Nyah Hamlett said at the meeting.  

In regards to clubs and activities, the Board approved allowing Hamlett to expand outdoor extracurriculars in a 5-1 vote. 

Board member Rani Dasi cast the opposing vote.

“I really, really want us to focus on the academics of things, and all this other stuff can come later,” Dasi said. 

During the meeting, Board members received an update on student performance in the first quarter. In both middle school and high school, the average percentage of students earning Fs was up about 4.5 percent. 

When these numbers are broken down, in both middle and high school, the amount of Fs was up at least 9 percentage points among Black students, Latinx students, students with disabilities and English learners.

“We are failing some of our students,” Jessica O’Donovan, assistant superintendent of instructional services, said.

A proposed $500 stipend for classified staff, including nutrition, IT, maintenance/facilities and transportation staff, was also discussed by the Board. There was some debate on the amount for the stipend. 

“I would love to be more generous than that,” Board member Ashton Powell said at the meeting. 

The stipend was not approved, but it may be re-evaluated and discussed in a future meeting, Public Information Officer for CHCCS Jeff Nash said in an email. 

The CHCCS Board of Education will meet again on Feb. 18. 


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