HAS transitions to remote learning

Hallyburton Academy transitions to remote learning due to COVID exposures
Posted on 11/11/2020

Morganton, NC – Monday, Nov. 9, 2020

Burke County Public Schools was made aware Monday of a number of exposures to a positive COVID-19 case at Hallyburton Academy. As a result, Hallyburton will transition to Plan C instruction until Thursday, Nov. 19. All learning at Hallyburton will move from in-person to remote while the school building is closed for cleaning and exposures are quarantined or isolated. There will be no activity at the school for several days to ensure adequate time for the virus to dissipate from the air. Once that time period is up, the custodial team will move in to start the thorough sanitation process.


Hallyburton Academy Principal Jonathan Clontz notified parents Monday via the SchoolMessenger alert system of the exposures. The health and safety of students and staff is Burke County Public Schools’ main concern right now. The Burke County Health Department has been notified. Just as with individual cases, if a child or staff member was identified as having had close contact and exposure, the school nurse notified the parents or the staff member. Those who do not hear from the school nurse should know they are their child is not considered to have had close contact. Parents who have questions about their child's health, can contact their physician or the Burke County Health Department Public Information Line at 828-764-9168. 


Hallyburton Academy classroom teachers are communicating with students and families and providing specific information to let them know what to expect while the school operates under Plan C. Meals were made available for Hallyburton parents to pick up at Heritage Middle School on Tuesday. 


The temporary, short-term (two weeks or less) transition to Plan C for full remote learning for a Burke County Public Schools school, grade level, wing or department is determined on a case-by-case basis. The decision to move to Plan C is not taken lightly. The main reasons to move out of a building and to remote learning are for decontamination and contact tracing purposes. 

With each confirmed person with COVID-19 in a school building, the risks are assessed. The first step is contact tracing to determine exposures. If exposures are determined, the next step is to assess how many are placed in quarantine or isolation as a result of the exposure. The next step is to monitor for additional positive cases. 

People involved in the decision surrounding transitioning to Plan C include:

  • Superintendent
  • Curriculum Director
  • District Nurse
  • School Principal
  • School Nurse 
  • Health Department Director

They evaluate factors that include:

  • An identified cluster of five (5) or more related cases
  • Significant absenteeism of staff (is there adequate staffing available to maintain student supervision and safety)
  • Significant absenteeism of students
  • Substantial community spread

The goals are: 

  • Health and safety of students and staff first
  • Making the building closure as short as possible
  • Clear and frequent communication from teacher/principal to home/parent/student during remote learning

BCPS follows requirements and relies on guidance from the Burke County Health Department, StrongSchools NC Toolkit and the CDC.
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