GREENSBORO, N.C. — The 2020-2021 academic school year poses challenges for students and parents returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This blog is to help parents and students navigate this difficult time while operating under a new normal. Here, you will find resources, COVID-19 information, virtual school options, the latest school updates, and coverage from the WFMY News 2 team.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW:
Friday, Oct. 23, 2020
7:05 p.m. According to Guilford County Schools, they will not bring back first and second graders to school classrooms on Monday, October 26.
11: a.m. - Alamance Burlington Schools Board of Education votes to remain in remote learning until Jan. 15, 2021.
The school board voted to keep Pre-K through fifth-graders in remote learning until Jan. 15.
ABBS's middle and high schools will stay on the same schedule.
Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020
3:55 p.m. - Alamance Burlington Schools Board of Education will hold an emergency meeting Friday morning.
Alamance-Burlington Schools’ superintendent Bruce Benson is recommending changes to the district’s Plan 2 learning model. Benson is suggesting Pre-K through second-grade students go back to the classrooms later than planned. Students would return Wednesday, Nov. 18 instead of Oct. 28. Grades 3-5 would return on Dec. 2 instead of Nov. 18. The plan for middle and high school students would stay the same. The plans have not been finalized at this time.
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020
4:30 p.m. - Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools will delay reentry the district announced, Wednesday.
Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicators shared at the COVID-19 Special Committee meeting on Tuesday, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools is delaying the start of Pre-K and EC Pre-K students. Pre-K and EC Pre-K students were scheduled to return to in-person learning on Monday. The start date for those students will be delayed at least two weeks.
Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020
5:30 p.m. - Guilford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras and Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann answer your school reentry questions.
Monday, Oct. 19, 2020
8:00 p.m. - A Randolph County high school is dealing with its second round of coronavirus exposure.
The principal at Southwestern Randolph High sent an email to parents.
The district said at least one person was exposed to the virus sometime in the last four days. It makes Southwestern High’s second confirmed COVID-19 exposure the first was back in August.
5:30 p.m. - Buses for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will be back on the road this week.
School bus drivers are testing routes to make sure the first day of transporting students will run safely. Transportation teams will evaluate the routes during this time.
New this year due to the pandemic, buses will have an assistant on board to help drivers collect forms and monitor students. The school system said it will also have seat decals added to all buses to identify where students should sit. Buses will also be disinfected between each run. The school system said high touch points such as handrails, seat backs, and window sills will be wiped down with disinfectant. Bus lots also have an electrostatic sprayer to cover even more surfaces.
4:30 p.m. - Guilford County Schools announced it will delay reentry for Pre-K through 2 students due to an increase in rising COVID-19 risks.
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020
6:23 p.m. You can view the complete press conference here.
6: 17 p.m. Middle school students will return on a staggered A, B schedule for two days of in-person learning and 3-days of remote learning on November 12 depending upon health metrics.
6:09 p.m. Vulnerable student populations (homeless, foster care, disabilities, etc.) in grades 9-12 may return November 12.
6:00 p.m. The few High School students who must complete requirements for the certified nurse assistant program prior to graduation in the spring, will also return to school for their practicum on Nov. 4th or 5th.
5:50 p.m. Following the re-entry of grades pre-k through 2nd grade and pending another review of community health metrics, students from 3rd-5th grade will return on either November 4 or 5 depending on if a school was a polling site.
5:45 p.m. Revised plans have pre-k through 2nd-grade starting in-person learning 5-days a week beginning on Oct. 20. However 6th graders will not return as originally planned on Oct. 20. Depending on health metrics middle schoolers could return on Nov. 12.
5:25 p.m. A week before students go back to classrooms, concerns still loom regarding the safety of in-person learning. GCS officials will make an announcement at 5:30 p.m.
The plan previously passed by the board sends pre-k through second grade to return to the classroom full-time on Oct. 20. Sixth grade would phase in two days a week. A week later, on Oct. 26, grades 3-5 would phase in full-time. Students in grades 7-8 would come back that day, twice a week. High schoolers wouldn't return until January 20.
Monday, Oct. 5, 2020
4:30 p.m. - Alamance-Burlington Schools approves Plan B, bringing some elementary school students back at the end of October
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.
Officials report 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."
Friday, Oct. 2, 2020
3 p.m. -- Another Guilford County school closed due to coronavirus Friday. Murphey Elementary School was closed Friday for deep cleaning after someone tested positive for coronavirus. The campus is expected to reopen Monday.
The deadline for Guilford County Schools parents to enroll their students in the virtual academy is 5 p.m. Friday.
Monday, Sept. 28, 2020
5 p.m. - Guilford County Schools announced it will extend the deadline to sign up for its virtual academy until Oct. 2.
Find out more: GCS Virtual Academy
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
7 p.m. - During a Thursday meeting, the Guilford County Schools Board of Education voted 5-4 to approve a re-entry plan for students. Under the plan, elementary students would go back to classrooms in October. High school students would have to wait until January.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
9:30 p.m. - Randolph County Schools opts to start K-5 in-person full-time beginning October 19.
The Board of Education voted 4-3.
Randolph County School board also approved option one for Middle School sports schedule.
6 p.m. - Randolph County Schools Board of Education meeting following Gov. Cooper's recent school announcement.
1 p.m. - Asheboro City Schools approves transition plan(s) for students
Asheboro City Schools said Phase 1 will begin on Monday and will only affect students attending the district's Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC).
“These Pre-K students will receive in-person instruction five days a week. It's important to note, ECDC is regulated by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), the same agency that oversees childcare centers across the state,” the district said in a press release. “ECDC can go back to in-person instruction for five days a week because the facility has small enough class sizes and limited density to comply with state rules and regulations.”
11:30 a.m. – Sistas 4 Change Food Community Eatz will have a pop-up shop Mondays and Thursdays in Winston-Salem where they’re serving free meals.
The group will serve chicken, vegetables, cheerwine, slaw, queso, tacos, burritos and more.
It will be on Mondays in the parking lot at 1522 North Liberty Street across from Citgo and Thursdays off Patterson Street across from Churches Chicken.
The group said meals are first come, first serve.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2020
9 p.m. - COVID-19 case reported at Southwestern Randolph Middle School.
Randolph County Schools sent the following:
"The Randolph County School System (RCSS) dealt with a COVID case involving exposure of individuals at Southwestern Randolph Middle School on 9/18/20. Please know that the school system worked closely on this case with Randolph County Public Health. All individuals who were exposed to the positive COVID case at the school are not permitted on RCSS campuses for 14 days and will participate in school remotely instead. Any person who has been exposed has already been notified of this exposure and told not to come to school, or will be contacted by the leaders of Randolph County Public Health through their contact tracing process. Also, a telephone message was sent to the homes of all students at the school to make parents aware of this case. In addition, all staff members at the school were notified about the case through an email. Our school system has followed all of the directives of Randolph County Public Health to ensure the safety of all students and staff members on the school's campus."
4:40 p.m. - All courses and programs offered at Guilford Technical Community College will reopen Monday, Sept. 21.
This includes courses and programs offered at all five campuses.
The college has been operating on a modified schedule for select programs since Tuesday, Sept. 15, following a cybersecurity incident. Due to the ongoing investigation, the college does not have any additional information to share at this time.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2020
7 p.m. - Guilford County Schools has released its calendar for high school sports.
Voluntary workouts for volleyball and cross country start on Monday, September 28. Basketball starts on October 19. Football workouts start on November 30.
GCS will continue monitoring the latest COVID-19 trends and make changes, if necessary.
6 p.m. - The Davidson County School district confirmed at least one person tested positive at Welcome Elementary School.
The district didn't say who tested positive. They also didn't mention if the school would close temporarily or if they've notified parents. The district's policy states anyone who tests positive cannot return to the building until at least three days after the person's symptoms have improved.
5:45 p.m. - Alamance-Burlington Schools said despite the Governor's announcement they will keep their current plan in place.
5:15 p.m. - Winston-Salem/Forsyth Co. Board of Education COVID-19 Special Committee holds virtual meeting.
5 p.m. - Thomasville Schools said it will stay in Plan C through October 16, despite the Governor's announcement for districts to decide if elementary schools will reopen to all student in-person learning.
That's been the plan for a while, so it's just a bit of clarity that they won't be making any changes any time soon.
3:15 p.m. - Gov. Cooper announces kindergarten through fifth grade can return to in-person learning but will leave it up to school districts to make that decision.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020
The Asheboro City Board of Education approved a phase-in approach for students to head back to the classroom. The process will begin on Monday, Sept. 21, starting with students in the district's Early Childhood Development Center. Oct. 5, the district will welcome back Kindergarten through fifth-grade students under the hybrid Plan B model. Students will go to school in-person two days out of the week and do remote instruction for the rest of the week. Phase 3 of the plan starts on Oct. 19. That's when students from sixth grade through 12th will return under Plan B. Students in the ACCESS Ed Remote Learning Program will continue online instruction.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2020
5:45 p.m. - Guilford County Schools plans to open 10 more learning centers in addition to the 13 open right now. They plan to make an announcement Friday about the new locations.
RELATED: Guilford County Schools will open 63 internet hubs to students this Saturday and the next
5 p.m. - Guilford County Schools introduced 63 internet hubs to assist with remote learning.
The district will open schools for students that have limited internet access on Saturday, Sept. 12, and 19. Only 30 visitors will be allowed at a time.
If you want a full list of what schools will be hubs. Click here to read our full article.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2020
6 p.m. - Surry County Schools announces return to learn Plan B effective September 21.
The Surry County Schools Board of Education voted to begin face-to-face instruction for students under the Surry County Schools Plan B effective Monday, September 21, 2020. Plan B is a return to learn in a blended/hybrid model with a combination of some face-to-face instruction with limited density in school buildings with enhanced health and safety protocols and some remote instruction.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2020
6 p.m. - Stokes County Schools will soon return to school for in-person learning.
The school district announced it will move to its Plan B phase with students returning to schools on Monday, September 14.
3:30 p.m. - Thomasville City Schools will extend its Plan C for remote learning for the district through the end of the first nine weeks of the first quarter so through October 16, 2020.
The Board of Education recently voted on the decision.
3 p.m. - Lexington City Schools voted in favor of delaying the reopening of schools for in-person learning until the first nine-weeks term on October 15, 2020.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 19, 2020
9 a.m. - The NCEDCloud, which powers remote learning systems for schools across the state, crashed for a second time on Wednesday. The system was up and running again as of noon.
TUESDAY, AUG. 18, 2020
4:18 p.m. - Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is investigating after inappropriate activity in a virtual class.
Southeast Middle School was alerted during a virtual art class that a participant in the class began yelling obscenities and making inappropriate gestures. It was later identified the person was a WS/FCS student. The school system is looking into how the student was able to access the virtual class.
MONDAY AUG. 17, 2020
4 p.m. - Guilford County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras talking about first day of school and addressing remote learning issues.
9 a.m. - A statewide technical problem is delaying the first day of school with thousands of students unable to login to remote learning.
Just before 9 a.m. Guilford County Schools posted to its Facebook page about the issue.
SCHOOL REOPENING PLANS
Guilford County Schools: Will begin the new school year with nine weeks of remote learning.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools: Continue with remote learning under Plan C-- remote learning-- with the possibility of later entering Plan B-- in-class learning with social distancing and other precautions. Remote learning will continue for at least nine weeks for the first part of the 2020-2021 academic year.
Davidson County Schools: Option two plan includes in-school and remote learning. Under the plan, students will undergo a one-week orientation beginning on August 17. The school district will begin plan B on September 14 with an A-B day schedule.
Randolph County Schools: Will begin the new with Plan B on an A-B day schedule with remote learning during the week.
Asheboro City Schools: Revised its reopening plan by delaying the move into Plan B. Starting August 17, all students will work remotely with the exception of elementary, sixth, and ninth-grade students. For these students, the first week of August 17 will be an orientation week. After that, all students will work remotely until September 21, 2020.
Stokes County Schools: Will begin the new year with remote learning for the first nine weeks before transitioning to an A-B day schedule.
Surry County Schools: Will continue with remote learning for the first six weeks of the new academic school year. The school district will then decide on September 21, if the district will then transition into Plan B with students returning to schools.
Caswell County Schools: Caswell County Schools originally approved Plan B reopening but has since changed their plan. The Caswell County Board of Education has now voted to begin the 2020-2021 school year on August 17 under Plan C. Plan C provides total remote learning for all students. Plan C will be implemented during the first nine weeks of school, through Oct. 14. The Board of Education will revisit Plan C at the Sept. 27 board meeting and discuss student progress as well as the possibility of transitioning back-to-school after Oct. 14.
SCHOOL DISTRICT COVID-19 UPDATES
School districts are providing COVID-19 updates, plans and resources on their sites.
VIRTUAL LEARNING PROGRAMS
Guilford County Schools
Enrollment Deadline: Aug. 1
Virtual School Questions: List of frequently asked questions
Guilford eLearning Virtual Academy will be housed at Hunter Elementary School and will serve grades K-5. Guilford eLearning University Prep will serve grades 6 through 8 and will be housed at Jackson Middle School. Students in grades 9 through 12 can enroll in the eLearning University Prep Academy program while remaining assigned to their home school. Each school will have a principal, counselors, staff and teachers skilled in online learning.
The two virtual schools will launch in conjunction with the beginning of the 2020-2021 school, which begins Aug. 17, according to new state law. Students may register now at the virtual schools. There are no prerequisite requirements for enrollment. The enrollment deadline is Aug. 1.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
Enroll: WS/FCS Virtual Academy
Virtual Academy Questions: List of frequently asked questions
WS/FCS Virtual Academy is a program in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School district. The program is designed to provide students with a personalized education option that offers virtual experiences that are flexible, rigorous, and innovative. The academy will have its own attendance policy and transportation will be provided to the student’s residential school for any required state assessments. Students will be allowed to participate in extra-curricular activities at their residential school.
Davidson County Schools
Online Academy Questions: List of frequently asked questions
Davidson County Schools' Online Academy has already closed for enrollment. Students will get a notification about their status by July 30.
Lexington City Schools
Enroll: Lexington Virtual Academy
Currently accepting applications but after July 13, students will be put on a waitlist.
A virtual alternative to the traditional school for rising first through twelfth-grade students.
Lexington City Schools is enrolling for its Lexington Virtual Academy for kindergarten students.
Thomasville City Schools
Enroll: TRAIL program application
Enrollment Deadline: July 31
Thomasville City Schools is offering a fully virtual learning option for the upcoming year. The TRAIL program is available for K through 12 and will be remote regardless of the rest of the district.
Asheboro City Schools
Enroll: ACCESS ED
Enrollment Deadline: Aug. 1
ACCESS ED Questions: List of frequently asked questions
The ACCESS Ed Remote Learning Program for Asheboro City Schools will be available for students in grades K through 12, offering a fully remote learning experience for families who prefer remote learning during COVID-19. There are no plans for the participation of PreK students or for this program to continue beyond the 2020-2021 school year.
Rockingham County Schools
Enroll: Virtual learning program
Virtual learning questions: List of frequently asked questions
Wilkes County Schools
Enroll: Virtual learning program
Enrollment Deadline: July 31
Remote Learning is available as an option for any family who does not wish for their child to attend under Plan B. Students who choose to attend Wilkes County Schools through remote learning will have the same expectation as those students who are under Plan B learning on a face-to-face A/B day schedule.
Yadkin County Schools
Enroll: Yadkin Virtual Academy
Virtual learning questions: List of frequently asked questions
Yadkin Virtual Academy is a 100% online school created to provide students with additional opportunities in an online environment.
Mount Airy City Schools
Mount Airy City Schools (MACS) offers educational opportunities that are tailor-made for today’s learners. Led by highly-qualified staff and offering a full range of student support, this partnership allows students from all backgrounds and areas of interest, to customize their learning experience through Customized Learning Anywhere/Anytime for Student Success (CLASS).
Stokes County Schools
Current families who would like their child to attend 100% remote learning can choose that option when completing the enrollment form.
Davie County Schools
Virtual Learning Questions: List of frequently asked questions
DCS Virtual is an opportunity for Davie County students to get rigorous, personalized instruction remotely. All K through 12th-grade students who are enrolled in Davie County Schools are eligible to apply for DCS Virtual. Homeschool and private school students are also encouraged to apply.
Montgomery County Schools
Virtual Learning Questions: List of frequently asked questions
Students who choose remote learning will have access to all services and opportunities afforded to traditional students.
SCHOOL DISTRICT HOTLINES
Guilford County Schools: 336-370-8100
GCS' Let's Talk allows you to click on the department you need and send an email.
Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools: 336-661-3128
WS/FCS: New Hotline Hours: Parents and students with questions related to the return to school can call (336) 661-3128 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon-Thurs, during the summer.
Alamance-Burlington School System: 336-570-6060
Asheboro City Schools: 336-542-1007
Davidson County Schools: 336-249-8182
Lexington City Schools: 336-242-1527
Thomasville City Schools: 336-474-4200
Randolph County Schools: 336-633-5000
Rockingham County Schools: 336-627-2600
Wilkes County Schools: 336-667-1121
Mount Airy City Schools: 336-786-8355
Yadkin County Schools: 336-679-2051
Surry County Schools: 336-386-8211
Stokes County Schools: 336-593-8146
Caswell County Schools: 336-694-4116
Alleghany County Schools: 336-372-4345
Davie County Schools: 336-751-5921
Montgomery County Schools: (910) 576-6511
SCHOOL DISTRICT CALENDARS
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT IDEAS
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