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SCS ahead of curve when it comes to in-person learning

With Gov. Roy Cooper announcing he wants school districts across the state to allow in-person instruction for students, the Board of Education Tuesday night emphasized how Stanly County Schools has consistently been ahead of the trend this school year when it come to offering face-to-face learning opportunities for students.

Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis mentioned that Senate Bill 37, “In-Person Learning Choice for Families,” was filed Monday in the General Assembly to reopen schools. Specifically, the bill requires schools to provide in-person learning options for all K-12 students under either Plan A or Plan B (moderate social distancing).

“We have a leg up on a lot of other school districts in that we already meet most of these statutes,” Dennis said.

Aside from a few weeks where the school system went all-virtual due to rising coronavirus cases, from the beginning of the school year SCS has operated under Plan B, with elementary students going to school as usual while middle and high school students alternated between a mix of in-person and remote learning.

Many other local school districts are gearing up to allow more in-person learning. Cabarrus County is set to allow students in PreK-3 to transition to Plan A (four days of in-person learning) beginning Feb. 16 while Charlotte-Mecklenburg is slated to transition its students to in-person learning beginning Feb. 15.

“I’m joined by state education leaders to strongly urge that all schools provide in-person learning for students,” Cooper said during a Tuesday press conference. “It’s important schools follow the safety protocols laid out by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. That guidance reinforces in-person learning while maintaining strong public health measures.”

Cooper said that 90 of the 115 public school districts in the state are providing in-person instruction for some or all students.

The CDC and federal health officials also stated that as long as proper precautions are in place (students social distancing, wearing masks) schools can reopen for in-person learning.

Many school board members mentioned how SCS has been more proactive compared to other school districts in making sure students had options for in-person learning.

“We have been ahead of the curve in the fact that we’ve given the families of the students in Stanly County more options than almost any other county in the state,” said board member Anthony Graves, noting the importance of providing flexibility for families faced with many hardships over the past year.

“Certainly I’m glad we gave those students that wanted the in-person instruction the option to do that at the beginning of the school year,” he added.

Board member Vicky Watson stressed that in-person learning is the best option for students, saying that “our kids are more safe in school than anywhere else.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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