This is a statewide forum for each NC county school district, and for parents, teachers, administrators, and students to discuss COVID-19 Coronavirus efforts locally including unique ways education is being delivered in your location.
Readers are encouraged to use the discussion form below to submit public information to this document, and to subscribe to replies so that you are notified when there is new content. We encourage readers to suggest heading sections not currently covered in this article. If you are a county school superintendent, administrator, or education board member and want to have discussions using a verified account, please contact us.
Readers are encouraged to share this document on popular social media sites like Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook so that we have diverse information from both large city and county school districts and rural county districts.
When submitting unique information about your NC county school as it relates to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, please include which district you are in, city, and school name. This document will be updated daily.
General Education Discussions Not Covered By A Heading Below
In general, what unique ways is your education board, administrators, and superintendents dealing with the pandemic? Is your NC district currently under Plan B or Plan C? As a parent, which option did you choose for your child and why? Are there any county districts that chose 100% Plan C or Plan B when Governor Roy Cooper first handed down his executive orders? How well is communication being delivered by local administrators and board members to parents and students? What unique ways is communication being delivered?
Sections below will focus on Plan B cohorts, Plan C online virtual learning, Plan A for elementary schools, the impacts to disruption of full-time instruction on exceptional children who have IEPs and families in poverty, the concepts of social distancing, mask wearing, health screenings, school cleaning, and frequent hand washing, and discussions central to superintendents and administrators.
We will continue with discussions on large urban districts and rural districts in navigating education effectively, the effectiveness to online learning, lessons learned after this pandemic, and information relating to state and county governments.
Plan B Cohort Discussions
When school districts and state government first started dealing with the Coronavirus, the governor gave districts and parents a choice. This choice was to operate under Plan B which is a hybrid of classroom learning 2 days a week and virtual online learning 3 days a week. Additionally, state government and the governor allowed districts and parents to choose Plan C which is 100% online virtual learning.
Which did your superintendent and education board decide on? As a parent, which option did you choose and why? How well did students adapt to Plan B and only attending school 2 days a week? As a teacher, what unique information can you tell our readers about what you discovered about Plan B that was surprising to you? What unique teaching methods were developed locally for students under Plan B in your county?
Plan C Online Virtual Learning
As stated above, districts and parents had an option for Plan B and Plan C. Did your district choose Plan C or did you as a parent choose Plan C? In general, how has this option worked for students and parents? Are students, guardians, and parents effectively navigating technology well using online classrooms? Which online classroom and teaching materials are being utilized in your NC county?
As a teacher, what are you noticing about students who are being educated fully online versus students who attend school 2 days a week? What has surprised you as an administrator, teacher, or superintendent about the delivery of education under Plan C?
Plan A For Elementary Schools Statewide (K-5) – When Will Middle Schools And High Schools Go Back Full-time?
As Governor Roy Cooper, health officials, and state government continue to access the COVID-19 Coronavirus landscape, the governor in late September of 2020 decided that state elementary school grades kindergarten through 5th grade (K-5) can operate under Plan A which is 100% at school classroom learning if districts chose to move to Plan A. Plan A can begin on October 19, 2020. The governor also stated that each individual district can stay at Plan B or Plan C, and that parents can have the choice to not choose Plan A if their local district decided on it.
What did your district and education board decide, and as an administrator, teacher, student, or parent how do you feel about it? What decision did you make and why? What are the latest discussions and information about middle school and high schools going back full-time under Plan A?
As a superintendent, education board member, administrator, teacher, or parent, do you think the governor, state government, health officials, and districts are moving to fast? And, under what criteria do you think local schools should get back to full-time classroom education?
Exceptional Children, IEPs, And Vulnerable Students And Families
What data shows that students who need exceptional children (EC) instruction, and who have IEPs, are either at a disadvantage with at home online learning versus attending school 5 days a week? How are teachers, administrators, EC teachers, and other staff addressing this?
What data shows the impacts on families in poverty who either do not have consistent Internet at home, who’s parents are forced to work odd hours, or work 2 jobs and aren’t there to help children navigate technology and provide the discipline to focus on school work?
How are the needs of vulnerable students and families being addressed at the nutritional level?
Social Distancing, Mask Wearing, Hand Washing, Facility Cleaning, And Health Screening
A consistent message from health professionals is that social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and school cleaning is the best way to combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus, especially when attending school which can in some cases be considered a mass gathering. Additionally, health screenings can help detect COVID-19 infections early so that students or staff do not go on to infect others within the system. Social distancing, mask wearing, frequent hand washing and facility cleaning are mandates from state government and the governor, along with daily health screening.
But, to be effective, these must be done at all times every day. What are some unique ways that NC county school districts, teachers, and staff members discovered that helps provide the constant reminders to socially distance or wear a mask? Are teachers able to deliver quality education and shoulder the responsibility of 100% masking and distancing for all students 100% of the time? For children with health challenges such as ADHD who are very impulsive, who are some unique ways superintendents, administrators, and principals are helping students to continue to distance from their peers and staff members?
Are county districts seeing cases where Coronavirus infections are being detected before the start of the school day whereas the day before there were no signs from screening?
How is school cleaning being handled within your district?
NC County Education Board And School Administrator Discussions
Undoubtedly, when building a response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus for every county school district, there needs to be a team approach in place to make this response effective, and this requires school administrators and education board members to work closely in a non-partisan way.
What are some unique ways in which board members and school administrators are working together while providing direction to school teachers, staff, and parents when dealing with either Plan B or Plan C? How is technology being used to meet these goals? What is the latest on Plan A for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools?
Are there any cases in North Carolina where a school board wanted to go with a plan other than what school administrators wanted (or vice versa) and how was this addressed? What challenges exist today?
Large Metropolitan Urban Districts Versus Smaller Rural Districts
What are some challenges that large urban metropolitan school districts are facing that are not realities for smaller rural districts where county populations are smaller?
What are some challenges that small rural districts face which are not realities for large metropolitan urban districts?
In considering these two cases, our thinking leads us to believe that larger county districts face problems with mass gathering issues and increased numbers of infections within the population, and for smaller county districts there being an issue with reliable Internet or Internet providers and staff numbers. We suspect that funding is a concern for many board members and school administrators across both rural and urban districts.
What are the challenges on these issues and how are they being addressed by state and county governments?
Challenges To Online Virtual Learning For NC Teachers And Students
It’s safe to say that the response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus within educational systems will be a significant case study on the effectiveness to learning from home using technology. We imagine that online learning at home is something that many researchers are studying and this pandemic has provided ample data on how this issue impacts everyone from administrators, teachers, board members, students, and parents.
What data do you think will come out showing either positive or negative impacts to online virtual learning versus traditional in-school learning where teachers, staff, EC teachers, school psychologist, and nutritional staff have daily face-to-face interaction with students?
Will the data show that some students do well navigating technology and the discipline needed to focus on school work with other students need the face-to-face full-time learning? What are the challenges to exceptional children with IEPS and families in poverty?
Learning Lessons After The COVID-19 Coronavirus
While the Coronavirus pandemic has it’s considerable negative outcomes for the educational system, there will hopefully be some new learning lessons researchers, school administrators and teachers can gain which can then be applied to positive outcomes for further generations. What do you think will be some positive outcomes learned from this pandemic?
Will we learn more about how deep rooted technology is for students at different grade levels? Will this pandemic provide much needed data showing outcomes for online learning? Will we learn more on how NC county school districts can better fund schools while providing a quality education to all students?
This is a reminder that readers are encouraged to use the discussion form below to interact with this document, with other readers, or to suggest new headings.
What’s the latest news from your district?