COUNTY-BY-COUNTY: Local school districts’ plans for returning to classrooms

As the pandemic continues to impact the Carolinas, many school districts are adjusting plans for in-person learning.

Below is a roundup of districts and the modifications they have made.

>> Channel 9 will continuously update this story as other districts make decisions.

>> For an updated list of schools that are currently closed or schools that have moved to remote learning because of the pandemic, click here.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Updated April 12)-- The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education voted March 23 to return students in high schools and traditional middle schools to classrooms four days a week beginning April 12. This new calendar applies only to families who opt to have their students attend in-person learning.

Pre-kindergarten students continue to receive in-person instruction five days per week, as will students with disabilities whose IEP plans require in-person learning.

On March 22, students at K-5 and K-8 schools began attending school in a single group four days per week. Those students attend school in-person on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with remote learning on Wednesdays.

In addition, the board voted to keep open 82 After School Enrichment Program (ASEP) sites and allow them to remain operational throughout the remainder of the academic year.

The decision to return students to classrooms four days a week ensures that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will comply with recent state legislation requiring schools to provide in-person instruction. All CMS students not enrolled in Full Remote Academy, will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday reserved for remote instruction.

In addition, all students receiving in-person instruction will attend school five days a week effective May 10 and extending to the end of the school year in order to accommodate state testing.

Click here to learn more about the district’s plan.

Alexander County Schools (Updated March 29) -- school board members voted 6 to 1 for middle and high school students to remain in Plan B through the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

A few issues considered during the discussion include physical distancing during student lunches, transportation, and the disruption of student and family routines in exchange for less than 30 days of instructional time.

Click here for more info.

Anson County Schools (Updated March 22) -- The Anson County Board of Education held a special called meeting on March 22 and approved Plan A for grades K-5 in-person students that will allow K-5 in-person students to attend school four days/week, every week effective Monday, March 29th. Fridays will continue to be a remote learning day for all students. Please refer to the updated re-entry plan at the link below or on our website for more details.

Grades 6-13 in-person students will remain on the current Plan B (two rotational cohorts) schedule.

Families will continue to have the option of Plan C (full remote learning) for their students. However, Plan B (two rotational cohorts) for grades K-5 in-person students will no longer be an option.

An updated school calendar for K-5 students (Plan A) and an updated calendar for 6-13 students (Plan B) can be found at the links below.

Additionally, the board approved March 24 and 25 as virtual learning days due to a large portion of staff receiving their second vaccination those days and to allow our K-5 schools to prepare to open in Plan A on Monday, March 29, 2021.

If a parent has a question about transitioning from virtual to in-person or vice versa, please contact the superintendent’s office.

Here’s more information about the district’s reopening plans.

Ashe County Schools (Updated March 15) -- Ashe County approved a plan to transition students in grades 6-12 to Plan A -- 4 days per week -- beginning on March 29th.

The district said it will still provide compensatory services for exceptional children, meet with small groups of students and continue its deep cleaning measures on Wednesdays. Students who have selected to take online classes through Ashe online will continue their online classes.

K-5 students have already transitioned to Plan A.

Here’s more information about the district’s reopening plans.

Avery County Schools (Updated March 11) -- Avery County Schools is operating under “Plan B,” which means a hybrid of in-person and remote learning. This plan also includes “moderate social distancing,” requires daily temperature and health screening checks, maintains 6 feet of social distancing and requires face coverings to be worn by all school employees, students and visitors.

School district officials don’t anticipate implementing any changes until April 12.

Click here to learn what “Plan B” will look like in Avery County.

Burke County Schools (Updated March 16) -- The Burke County Board of Education approved a plan on March 15 to return all students PreK-12th grade to Plan A full in-person learning five days a week starting on April 12.

Cabarrus County Schools (Updated March 14) -- Cabarrus County school students in grades PreK through 3rd grade transitioned to Plan A (4 days in-person learning/1 day remote learning) on Feb. 16. Students in grades 4th through 12th who receive services through the Exceptional Children, English Language Learners (ELL), 504 and McKinney-Vento programs also returned to school in Plan A on Feb. 16.

Students in grades 4th and 5th returned to school under Plan A on March 15.

Cabarrus County middle and high schoolers will learn in-person four days a week starting April 13. Those students will be in class Monday through Thursday. Fridays, students will learn remotely.

The Cabarrus County School Board is one of the first in the state to vote to bring all students into Plan A since the governor signed Senate Bill 220 allowing it to happen.

The district sent out commitment forms for parents to select whether they want their kids to be in-person or full time online.

Click here for more information.

On Dec. 14, the district announced that it would be offering only spring sports for 2020/2021 for middle school students. Fall and winter sports will not be played. Read more here.

Caldwell County Schools (Updated March 18) -- Board members voted to return all students in grades K-12 to school on a modified Plan A schedule four days a week with Wednesdays reserved as a Remote Learning Day, effective April 12.

Click here for more information about the district’s latest reopening plans.

Catawba County Schools (Updated March 16) -- The Catawba County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the return of all students in grades 6-12 to the classroom four days per week beginning April 12.

Please note: Grades 6-12 will be joining grades K-5 who have been operating in Plan A since Gov. Roy Cooper announced this operational change in October.

Chesterfield County Schools -- Chesterfield County Schools are currently on a face-to-face A-B schedule for middle and high school students. Elementary and intermediate schools will continue 5 day a week face to face instruction through winter break.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plans.

Chester County Schools -- Chester County Schools offer a virtual academy for students in grades K-12.

Chester County Schools will soon switch to five days of in-person instruction, and that begins April 12 right after Spring Break.

Students will be given three e-learning days so they can work with teachers and take advantage of any extra help with school they need.

Those days will be on April 30, May 28 and June 11.

Here’s more information on the district’s reopening plans.

Cleveland County Schools (Updated April 12) -- Cleveland County’s Board of Education voted to return all students to the classroom four days a week starting April 12.

Fort Mill Schools -- The Fort Mill School District re-evaluates the possible return of five-day face to face instruction for middle and high school students in two week increments.

The district said the goal of the process was to provide a minimum of two weeks notice to families if they decide students could return to five-day face-to-face instruction.

The district said it has seen a continued drop in COVID-19 case numbers, and student isolation and quarantine numbers have been on a slow but gradual decline as well. In addition, officials said they have seen limited community spread in the schools.

District leaders said middle school students and high school students will return to full five-day instruction beginning March 15.

Elementary students will continue with five-day face-to-face instruction under the family model.

More district info here.

Gaston County Schools -- Gaston County Schools has transitioned its K-12 students to “Plan A.”

Elementary schools made the transition on March 1, while middle and high schools made the move on April 12.

All students attend school four days a week for in-person instruction with Wednesday continuing to be a remote learning day. Wednesday will also be used for deep cleaning and planning/professional development time for teachers and school staff.

The county also operates the Gaston County Virtual Academy for students who are already enrolled in full virtual learning. Students in the Virtual Academy will continue to receive online instruction at home five days a week.

Click here to learn more about the district’s reopening plans.

Hickory Public Schools -- The district’s board of education voted for students in K-3 to switch to Plan A on January 5.

Plan A will have in-class learning for K-3 students four days a week. K-3 students will be in school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays each week.

Wednesdays will remain remote learning days for all students in every grade in the district. Fourth and fifth grade students along with grades 6-12 will stay on Plan B.

Click here to learn more about the district’s reopening plans.

Iredell-Statesville Schools (Updated March 11) -- Iredell-Statesville Schools will return to school five days a week for students in grades 6-12 beginning April 7. Parents of students in middle and high school will receive a commitment form in the coming days. That form will ask that families make a decision for either Plan A for their student, or Plan C for their student.

Iredell-Statesville Schools are also operating in Plan A for students in grades K-5.

Click here to learn more about Iredell-Statesville Schools’ overall plan. Click here to learn more about the district’s decision regarding K-5 students.

Kannapolis City Schools (Updated March 10)-- The Kannapolis City school district returned students to Plan B on Feb. 16.

  • Cohort A students have in-person instruction on Mondays/Tuesday and remote instruction on Wednesdays/Thursday/Fridays.
  • Cohort B students will have in-person instruction on Wednesdays/Thursdays and remote instruction on Mondays/Tuesdays/Fridays.
  • EC self-contained (K-12) and high school OCS students will return four days a week and that will be communicated directly to those families by EC staff.
  • Students who elected to learn remotely during the second semester will remain in Remote-Only instruction.

Any changes would be made after the district has a copy of the bill and reviews the details of it.

Lancaster County Schools -- In Lancaster County, middle and high school students returned to four days a week of in-person learning Monday, March 22. Three weeks from March 23, all grade levels in the Lancaster County School District will transition to five days.

Parents still have the option for virtual learning the rest of the school year.

Click here to learn more about the district’s reopening plans.

Lincoln County Schools (Updated March 15) -- The Lincoln County School district approved a plan to move middle and high schools to Plan A -- full in-person learning five days a week -- starting March 22. They have been in Plan B with students split into two groups.

Elementary school students have already been in the classroom five days a week under Plan A.

Mooresville Graded Schools -- (Updated March 18) Students in grades preK-12 who choose to return to in-person learning, five days per week, will be able to do that beginning April 7. Students can also choose to do a virtual option much like they have done throughout the year. While social distancing will not be possible operating under Plan A, schools will continue to utilize all other safety protocols such as masking, health/temperature screenings before entering the building and intensive cleaning every night.

A summary of the 4th quarter learning plan can be found here.

Richmond County Schools -- Richmond County Schools made the decision on Dec. 10, to fully operate under remote learning through January 29. The decision was made after an increase COVID-19 cases.

Additional information regarding plans after January 29 will be made after the school district consults with the health department following the CDC guidelines and data from the local and state metrics.

Here’s a look at the district’s plan for for Richmond County Schools.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools (Updated March 22) -- The board approved the recommendation to transition to Plan A for grades 6-12.

Grades K-5

Students in kindergarten through 5th grade will continue with the current plan to transition to Plan A, four days of face-to-face instruction with Wednesdays designated as remote learning days on March 29.

Grades 6-12

Students with an IEP or 504 plan in grades 6-12 will begin Plan A, four days of face-to-face instruction with Wednesdays designated as remote learning days, on April 1.

All remaining students in grades 6-12 will begin Plan A, four days of face-to-face instruction with Wednesdays designated as remote learning days, on April 8, 2021.

Summit Virtual Academy

Students at Summit Virtual Academy will remain enrolled for the remainder of the school year under the one-year commitment agreement.

Click here to learn more about the district’s reopening plans.

Stanly County Schools (Updated March 12) -- After the governor’s announcement, the district has made the decision to continue with its current operations to avoid the disruption of student schedules and relocation of students to different schools and classrooms.

Click here to learn more about the district’s plan.

Union County Schools (Updated March 15) -- Union County Schools approved a plan to bring middle and high school students back to the classroom five days a week, starting April 12.

Elementary school students will also return to in-person learning five days a week. Before, they had already transitioned to the classroom four days a week under Plan A.

Click here to learn more about the district’s plan.

Watauga County Schools (Updated March 11) -- Watauga County Schools is operating under what the district is calling a 2x3 Flex Schedule with significant social distancing, cleaning, hygiene and sanitation protocols in place.

In the 2x3 Flex Schedule, half of students attend school on Monday and Tuesday, while the other half attend on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will be a remote learning day for all students. In total, all students have three days of remote learning at home each week.

“I am grateful to see the Governor’s office, DHHS, and the legislature now working more closely together to provide clear guidance on how to move forward with expanding school operations,” said Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott. “Our school system has been ahead of the curve all year compared to many districts in the state. We opened to in person instruction in August for our most vulnerable and at risk students, while all other students learned online with their teachers and fellow students.”

Dr. Elliott continued, “If the bill becomes law, it will not take effect until 21 days after passage, during which time our board of education will consider our options and how to proceed.”

Click here to learn more about the district’s reopening plan.

York County Schools -- The York County School District operates under

Students in grades PreK – 6th grade will attend school face-to-face on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesdays being SEE days for extra time and extra help. These Wednesdays will be used to provide additional cleaning of our schools as a part of our enhanced safety protocols.

Grades 7 – 12 will continue on the Cohort model, with Cohort A attending face-to-face on Mondays and Tuesdays and Cohort B attending face-to-face on Thursdays and Fridays, with Wednesdays being SEE days.

Click here for a more detailed look at York County’s reopening plans. Here is Rock Hill Schools 53-page plan.