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Alamance-Burlington School Board approves Plan B learning, bringing some elementary students back at the end of October

The district said kindergarten through 2nd grade will transition into Plan B October 28, with 3rd through 5th grade making the switch November 18.

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — Editor's Note: The video above is from a previous story. 

During Monday's special called meeting, the Alamance-Burlington Board of Education voted to start the transition into Plan B on October 28. 

The district said the board approved kindergarten through second grade to come back to the classroom part-time on October 28. The students will be divided into two cohorts and attend school two days in class, two days remote, and Wednesdays remotely with "real-time teacher instruction for both cohorts," according to the district. 

Third through 5th grade will transition into a blended learning model on Nov. 18, according to the district. The students will also be divided into cohorts A and B and attend school twice a week while learning remotely for the remainder of the week. 

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The district said parents of students in all grades will have the option to keep their child fully remote if they prefer to do that instead of sending their child back.

The board voted to keep all middle and high school students remote through January 15. The district said the students will continue their current schedules through that date. 

Pre-K students will have the choice of attending school five days a week, also beginning on October 28. Parents can keep their child remote if they wish, according to the district. 

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Melissa has two kids in Alamance-Burlington Schools. Her son is in middle school and her daughter is in high school. Melissa said she's concerned about her kids staying with remote learning through January 15. 

"I felt very upset and disappointed because I felt like we, as the parents, are not being heard," said Melissa. 

She said both her kids, who go to Southern Alamance Middle and Southern Alamance High School, are struggling. 

"It's affecting both of them from a mental aspect as well as emotionally," Melissa said, "They both need that interaction with other students." 

Melissa's daughter, who is in 10th grade, is starting AP courses. Melissa said it's been difficult for her to learn the more challenging classes virtually. 

The district said the proposal included middle school students in the return under a modified schedule similar to the elementary recommendation, but the board voted to keep middle schools remote for the remainder of the semester. 

The district said the recommendation was to keep high school students remote for the second nine weeks so they could receive "the most direct teacher instruction," according to the district. 

Board Chair Allison Gant said she and the district have been faced with difficult decisions during a difficult time and she's trying to balance the needs of everyone and understands not everyone will agree with the decision. 

"I accept that not everyone is going to agree but I hope they will give us an opportunity to serve their child to the best of our ability," said Gant. 

Gant said she based her personal decision on the presentation from the district and emails received by staff and parents. 

The district said principals are working on breaking students into cohorts now, and working to make things easier for families, for example, by putting siblings who may have different last names on the same schedule. 

The district said schools will be notifying families about cohorts as soon as possible. 

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