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Middle and High Students Start School on Plan A

After a year of limited in-person access to schools, middle and high school students have returned to in-person school four days a week under the state’s Plan A, due to adjustments made by the Governor’s office amending the social distancing requirements to allow full utilization of classroom space for all students enrolled. Most other safety protocols, such as mask wearing and sanitizing facilities, continue to be in place.

“This Monday was like the first day of school all over again,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald Phipps. “We’ve been able to work through this week with minimal distractions.”

Under guidelines outlined by the state in August when the school year began, schools could only operate on Plan B, which included 6-foot social distancing requirements at all times, or Plan C, full remote option. The Caldwell County Schools avoided full remote option by operating on a hybrid two-day, face-to-face instruction with three days remote until the social distancing restrictions were lifted on October 5, 2020, for elementary grades K-5 and then effective statewide on April 1 for middle and high school students.

However, from the start of the school year, students in grades K-12 have been given the option for online learning through Caldwell Connect, and this platform continues throughout the remainder of the school year. Presently, 9,172 students are enrolled in face-to-face instruction and 1,609 in Caldwell Connect, or nearly 18 percent.

The Board of Education voted to initiate Plan A in middle and high schools effective Monday, April 12 with Wednesdays reserved as remote learning days for teacher development and thorough cleaning of the facilities.

With the NC Public Health Toolkit (k-12) Interim Guidance, which was updated on March 23, 2021, to reflect changes in the educational environment, schools must continue to follow guidelines for a safe environment observing all COVID quarantine and isolation procedures as well as cleaning classrooms and monitoring for symptoms.