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Surry County Schools to continue remote learning at start of school year

The district has a goal to get students back in the classroom by September 21 but will continue to evaluate the situation.

DOBSON, N.C. — Surry County Schools will continue remote learning at the beginning of the school year with the goal of getting students back in classrooms on September 21, according to a release from the district. 

The Surry County Board of Education made the decision in a special meeting on Monday. 

The Board approved a plan to return to remote instruction on August 17 and will reconsider face-to-face instructional options in late September. 

According to a release, the week of August 17 will be an orientation week for teachers to connect with students and families individually to build relationships. The orientation sessions will also allow teachers to communicate expectations for remote learning and to provide students with needed materials and supplies such as Chromebooks. 

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The Board said the decision stemmed from the need to balance students having high-quality instruction while also being safe. The district also considered the latest coronavirus data in Surry County. 

Surry County health officials said the county is currently seeing an increase in new cases daily, 16% of positive cases are currently in people 19 years old and younger, 50% of Surry County residents currently testing positive for COVID-19 aren't showing symptoms, and there's a trend of positive cases as a result of mass gatherings in family units or outside groups, especially among groups not wearing masks. 

"What the numbers say to me is that in Surry County and in North Carolina this situation is one that we have to treat very seriously and one that we have to take great precautions so that we have safe schools and safe spaces," said Dr. Travis L. Reeves, Superintendent, Surry County Schools.

"All employers across North Carolina and across the nation are going to have to be flexible with employees knowing that schools are in the situation of blended learning. Whether you're on Plan B or plan C, you're in blended learning, and they're going to be childcare concerns," Reeves added.

As the September 21 goal for in-person instruction approaches, the district said it will review the plan to see if it is possible. 

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