COUNTY BY COUNTY: Local school districts’ mask, quarantine and virtual learning plans

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As school districts all over the Channel 9 viewing area work to navigate the pandemic, parents want to know whether their child is required to wear a mask in the classroom or if their school has a virtual learning option.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper provided an update over the summer on mask guidance in schools.

[LINK: StrongSchoolsNC toolkit]

Schools with students in 9th through 12th grades should ensure that anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated, including students, wear a mask indoors.

On Oct. 25, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated the StrongSchools Tool Kit FAQ related to K12 schools and face coverings.

“Given that our student population is largely not yet vaccinated, face coverings remain a critical tool for protecting children and keeping them safely in the classroom.

“NCDHHS recommends schools continue to implement a universal face-covering requirement if they are located in a county with high or substantial community transmission level.

“When community transmission levels decline to moderate or low levels for at least seven consecutive days, school leaders can consider making face coverings optional for vaccinated individuals. Face coverings should continue to be required for all unvaccinated individuals until community transmission is at low levels, when mask could be optional for everyone.”

[READ: American Academy of Pediatrics: Students should wear masks in school, no matter vaccination status]

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order in the spring that allowed parents to opt their children out of wearing masks in public schools.

Below is a roundup of school districts, charter schools and private schools mask and quarantine policies:

North Carolina Schools

  • Alexander County (updated Jan. 12): Masks required for pre-k through 12th grade for the week of Feb.14 until Feb. 20.
  • Anson County (updated March 8): Masks optional.
  • Ashe County (updated Nov. 3): The motion to make masks optional with a transition period passed.
  • Avery County (updated Oct. 13): Masks optional.
  • Burke County Public Schools (updated Jan. 25): Masks optional.
  • Caldwell County (updated Feb. 11): Masks optional indoors on school grounds for students, staff and visitors.
  • Cabarrus County (updated Feb. 7): Wearing masks inside Cabarrus County Schools buildings is optional for all students and staff effective Feb. 8.
  • Catawba County (updated Jan. 24): School Board votes to return to mask-optional starting Jan. 25.
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg (updated Feb. 22): CMS BOE voted to make masks optional starting March 7.
  • Cleveland County (updated Jan. 4): Mask-wearing is optional for all students and staff of Cleveland County Schools.
  • Gaston County (updated Jan. 14): Masks optional.
  • Gaston County Piedmont Community Charter Schools (updated Aug. 23): Masks now required.
  • Hickory Public Schools (updated Aug. 9): Masks required. The Board of Education unanimously voted to require masks of all students and all staff. Students and staff are required to wear masks inside all school facilities. All visitors who enter inside any school facilities must also wear masks.
  • Iredell-Statesville Schools (updated Feb. 14): ISS made masks optional and provide, when available, N95 for high-risk students and staff. Click here for more information.
  • Kannapolis City Schools (Aug. 9): Masks required.
  • Lake Norman Charter (updated Aug. 3): Masks required for students and staff while indoors.
  • Lincoln County Schools (updated Feb. 8): Masks optional.
  • Mooresville Graded School District (updated Jan. 4, 2022): Masks will be required for all students beginning Jan. 5, 2022. The board will reevaluate the decision on Jan. 11. The mask requirement applies to athletes and spectators at MGSD indoor sponsored events, as well as MGSD indoor sponsored extra-curricular activities. If an athlete has an approved MGSD medical mask exemption from a physician on file, they can submit to a weekly COVID-19 test and remain eligible for participation.
  • Newton-Conover City Schools (updated Sept. 3): Required.
  • Richmond County Schools: Masks required.
  • Rowan-Salisbury Schools (updated Oct. 25): Masks optional.
  • Stanly County Schools (updated Oct. 25): Masks optional.
  • Union County Public Schools (updated Jan. 11): Board of Education voted, 7-1, to keep masks optional.
  • Watauga County (updated Aug. 9): Watauga County Board of Education changed its previous optional mask requirement and has unanimously voted to require masks in schools.

South Carolina Schools

  • Chester County Schools (updated Dec. 14): Leaders voted, 5-1, to continue the districtwide mask policy. Schools will switch to virtual learning for three days after winter break.
  • Chesterfield County Schools (Oct. 26): No mask policy in place.
  • Clover schools: Parents can opt children out of wearing masks.
  • Ft Mill Schools - (updated Oct. 5): Masks optional.
  • Lancaster County School District: The Lancaster County School District strongly encourages all students and staff to wear masks at all times while in a school or district facility. Click here for more information.
  • Rock Hill Schools (updated Sept. 13): Parents can opt children out of wearing masks. Schools will have close contacts quarantine for just 10 days. That will be lowered to 7 days on Sept. 27.

(WATCH BELOW: Local doctor recommends masks in schools)