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A, B or C? Gates County School Board will decide

GATESVILLE – School is where children learn, among other things, their A-B-C’s.

Those first three letters of the alphabet now carry more meaning than ever before.

The Gates County Board of Education has scheduled a special called meeting at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9 at the Gates County Courthouse, 202 Court Street, Gatesville, to discuss the reopening of schools. This comes after Gov. Roy Cooper’s announcement on Sept. 17 that K-5 students can return to the classroom as early as next week.

Like most schools across the region and the state facing the risks of spreading the COVID-19 virus, Gates County Schools opened the 2020-2021 academic year in August by serving students through Plan C, which is virtual/remote learning, for the first nine weeks.

The Gates County Board of Education met on Sept. 14 and discussed the current plan and the option of moving to Plan B at the start of the second nine weeks. It was at that meeting where the school board opted to hold a special called meeting on Oct. 9 to further discuss a reopening plan.

That discussion may now include Plan A, which the Governor approved effective Oct. 5 for grades K-5 only.

Although less restrictive than Plan B, Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening, but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom.

“Regardless of the plan the school district implements for the second nine weeks, whether it is to remain on Plan C or move to Plan B for the middle and high schools and Plan A or B for elementary schools, either must contain a virtual/remote only program for students whose parents choose this option for them,” stated Gates County Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Williams.

Williams is also focused on the well-being of the students and staff should the school board opt to send the youngsters back to the classroom.

“The challenges we face during the COVID-19 pandemic is ensuring the health and safety of all students and staff while providing equitable educational opportunities,” Williams said. “Gates County Schools has a detailed plan for health monitoring, social distancing, and cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. The plan was developed using CDC and NCDHHS guidelines and through collaboration with Albemarle Regional Health Services. These plans are in effect now for teachers and staff who are working at the schools.”

Williams added that more info would be available after the Oct. 9 meeting. There he is hopeful to survey the parents and staff to what they feel is the best course of action.

 

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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