Polk Co. Schools to offer hybrid, remote learning options; first day of school Aug. 17

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POLK COUNTY, NC (WSPA) -Polk County Board of Education voted unanimously on Monday to adopt a hybrid approach, as well as offer remote learning for the start of classes, set for Aug. 17.

According to a release on polkstudents.com, Polk County Schools will follow a modified version of Plan B of the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit.

Under Plan B:

  • Students will have the option of either attending in-person classes at least two days a week or participate in one of two remote learning options
  • If attending in-person, students will be required to wear a mask and follow social distancing protocols, required under Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order
  • Students who wish to not wear a mask will be required to choose one of the two remote learning options

“No matter what plan we operate under, no matter what you choose tonight or what we actually implement on August 17th, I want folks to know that Polk County Schools is going to work very hard to make sure we serve our students in the best possible way we can,” Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene said in recommending Plan B. “That’s the only way we can go forward, is to commit to our students and families and make sure that we’re serving them to the best of our ability to do so.”

Some of the highlights of Plan B approved by the board Monday include:

  • Students in grades 6-12 at Polk County High School and Polk County Middle School can attend in-person classes two days per week. One group of students will attend classes on Monday-Tuesday while the other group attends classes on Thursday-Friday. Wednesday will be a fully remote day for all students, with students expected to complete work on the other days when not in-person. Special consideration will be given to at-risk students and to ensuring students in the same household have the same attendance days.
  • Space permitting, all students in Polk County elementary schools and Polk County Early College can attend in-person classes every day. This hinges upon the amount of students who opt for remote learning. If enough students at a school do so, then social distancing will be possible for all remaining students to attend in-person classes every day. If not, then those schools will follow the same schedule as upper grades, with students attending in-person classes for two days and learning remotely the remaining three days.
  • Students at all schools can opt to attend all classes remotely or join the district’s new Wolverine Academy.
  • New thermal scanners will allow the district to check each student’s temperature prior to entering the building. The district also will increase its cleaning and disinfecting procedures while also emphasizing hand washing and no sharing of materials.

According to the release, Greene said a change in conditions before Aug. 17 could still force the school district to move to Plan C, which would mandate remote learning for all students

For more information, click here.

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