HENDERSONVILLE, NC (WSPA) – Henderson County Public Schools announced Wednesday that they would be transitioning to the “Return to Learn” Plan B model starting Sept. 21.
According to the release, the Plan B model will be a blend of in-person and remote learning, with staggered entry for different grade levels.
The plan also requires face coverings and daily temperature screenings for all K-12 students, staff and visitors, and there will also be enhanced cleaning protocols and other safety measures in place.
“We know that any face-to-face instruction creates connected learning environments among students and their teachers,” Superintendent Bo Caldwell said. “And even with increased social distancing measures and different schedules, being together again with their peers and teachers will support our children’s socio-emotional needs.”
According to the release, the face-to-face instruction and remote learning days will be on an “A Day/B Day” schedule for grades 3-12.
Students in Pre-K through 2nd grade and eligible Intensive Intervention student will reportedly attend class on-campus in-person every day, starting Monday, Sept. 21. Their school day will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Students in 3rd grade through 12th grade will be split into Group A and Group B based on their last name, with flexibility given for households.
“Each group will alternate meeting on campus for in-person learning two days each week, and access remote learning the other three days each week. Group A will attend in person on Mondays and Thursdays and Group B will attend in person on Tuesdays and Fridays; Wednesday will be remote learning days for all students in Grades 3-12,” according to the release.
“For Grades 3-12, live and remote instruction will continue to be provided from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. every day except Wednesdays, which is remote only from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. for all students,” according to the release. “Students scheduled to be on campus for instruction will remain in school after 12 p.m. for lunch and small group instruction, as well as opportunities for social interaction and Social-Emotional Learning through the end of the traditional school day.”
For remote learners in the Engage RLO, remote instruction will continue to be provided from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. every day.
“The Engage Remote Learning Option (RLO) will be a concurrent model, allowing remote learners to interact with HCPS teachers and peers,” according to the release. “Families can still commit to a fully virtual first semester by registering for Engage RLO through the HCPS Enrollment Portal linked at www.HCPSNC.org.”
According to the release, the hybrid model has been approved through at least Oct. 30, 2020, and includes changes to the 2020-21 school calendar in regard to Oct. 16 and 19.
School officials said Oct. 16 will now be a full day for Group B, instead of an early dismissal day. Oct. 19 is now an Optional Teacher Workday.
According to the release, students in Plan B will return to campus on staggered “start dates” based on grade level and grouping:
- Sept. 21 – All Pre-K-Grade 2 and eligible Intensive Intervention students start on-campus
- Sept. 24 – Rotation of Grade 3-5 students in Groups A/B
- Grade 3-5 students in Group A start on-campus Sept. 24
- Grade 3-5 students in Group B start on-campus Sept. 25
- Sept. 28 – Rotation of Grade 6-12 students in Groups A/B
- Grade 6-12 students in Group A start on-campus Sept. 28
- Grade 6-12 students in Group B start on-campus Sept. 29
According to the release, individual schools will be contacting families during the week of Sept. 14 to confirm their child’s schedule in either Group A or Group B.
The following is information about other services:
Transportation: Bus transportation will be provided, following health and safety requirements and guidance from the state. This includes spaced seating, capacity restrictions, and required face coverings for students and drivers. Bus drivers will participate in a temperature check before beginning their routes each day. Students riding the bus will be required to have their temperature checked before they enter school. Families can expect bus drivers to contact them during the week of September 14 to verify children’s bus riding schedules.
Child Nutrition: The USDA has extended the Summer Food Service Program through Dec. 31, allowing HCPS to serve breakfast and lunch meals to all students at no charge through the end of the calendar year. Under Plan B, “Meals On the Bus” routes will not continue, since buses will be used for transporting students daily. However, Grab-and-Go meal pickup options will continue at designated school sites. Additionally, take-home meals will be available for in-person students to take home with them for their following remote learning day.
Child Care: PSAM and PSPM child care services through HCPS will be offered at each elementary school site for students on days they are scheduled to be on campus for instruction, based on their grouping. PSPLUS services will be offered at designated school sites on Optional Teacher Workdays and Required Teacher Workdays. Face coverings will now be required for children 5 years and older in HCPS Child Care facilities, per updated guidance on Sept. 4 from NCDHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education. Families can expect additional details and updates about Plan B through the “R2L Weekly” communications posted each Thursday at 5 p.m. and on the HCPSNC.org/ReturnToLearn webpage.