Governor announces Plan A as an option

Governor announces Plan A as an option for elementary schools, Burke BOE set to meet Sept. 28
Posted on 09/22/2020

Morganton, NC – Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020

Top 3 things to know:
-The Burke County Board of Education will meet on Sept. 28 to discuss Plan A as an option for Burke County Public Schools elementary schools.
-District leaders and elementary school principals are discussing the logistics of Plan A while keeping everyone’s health and safety in the mind.
-No decision or timeline for Plan A has been made yet.

NC Gov. Roy Cooper announced late last week that elementary schools in North Carolina could choose to operate under Plan A for full, in-person learning starting Oct. 5. On Thursday, in anticipation of the Governor’s announcement, Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam held a meeting of district leaders to immediately start discussions on the logistics of Plan A. We also sought input from our elementary principals during a meeting on Monday. This information will be shared with the Burke County Board of Education during a special called meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28 at which time the board will discuss Plan A. While discussing and weighing the logistics of Plan A, we continue to take student and staff health into consideration. While we all agree returning to in-person learning is best for all students, we want to make sure we take our time in considering this option now allowed for our elementary school students.  

At this time, however, no decision has been made, and we do not yet have a timeline for when our elementary school students would return to five-days-a-week, full capacity instruction if the board chooses Plan A for elementary schools. In the meantime, we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Burke County and work with the Burke County Health Department and Community Preparedness Team. We also continue to refer to both the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit and Lighting Our Way Forward guidelines from the NC Department of Health and Human Services, NC Department of Public Instruction and NC State Board of Education for requirements and recommendations on operating schools during COVID-19 under Plans A, B and C. 

The Plan A option for our elementary schools would still require students and staff to wear cloth face coverings and practice minimal social distancing. Also, we would continue to post social distancing markers, have one-way hallways, require frequent hand washing and take thorough cleaning and disinfecting measures. Daily temperature and COVID-19 symptom screenings also would still take place daily.

The Governor’s order does not allow for middle and high school students to return to school under Plan A at this time. As the Governor and Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of public health, said last week, studies show children 10 and under are less likely to spread COVID-19, have less severe reactions to the virus if they get sick with it and benefit the most from in-person learning.

Moving to Plan A for elementary schools would not affect the Burke Virtual Academy. Parents continue to have this 100-percent, virtual learning option. To inquire about the waitlist for the Virtual Academy, please contact Dr. Kristen Edwards at [email protected].  

We will keep you posted as soon as possible as decisions are made and timelines set. Thank you for your patience and continued support of Burke County Public Schools.

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