By Outer Banks Voice on October 7, 2020
Following an Oct. 6 meeting of the Currituck County Board of Education, the school district has announced a re-opening plan for public schools that includes: a return to classrooms four days a week for students Pre-K-5; a hybrid plan that will involve two days of classroom learning and three days of remote learning for middle school students; and a continuation of full-time remote learning for high school students until the semester ends on Dec. 18.
The current plan is for the youngest students to return to the classroom on Oct. 26. There will be an orientation scheduled for all Pre-K-5 families on Oct. 21.
This week, the schools will re-open a Virtual Learning survey for Pre-K-5 families as well as an application for PreK-5 teachers who want to remain in the Virtual Learning setting. In addition, there will be a Bus Registration form for PreK-5 parents who required transportation for their children to return to the classroom.
The Currituck County Schools also say they will release additional information about the re-opening plan for middle school students by the end of this week.
The Dare County Schools, which will send K-5 students back to the classroom and implement a hybrid plan for 6-12 students, provided this Oct. 7 update on the Virtual School option for its students.
As of this afternoon, we have 800 K-12 students registered for the Virtual School. Our deadline to register is tomorrow, Thursday, October 8 at 5:00 pm. (Overall, there are just under 5,400 students enrolled in Dare County Schools, meaning that about 15% of students have registered for Virtual School to this point.)
We have fielded several emails from parents asking if their students can switch out of the Virtual School option after our deadline. While we strongly encourage parents and students to stay in the program, we will create a process where parents can apply to move back into the traditional program, state their reasons why, and have the request reviewed by our administration. We will provide a link on our website for this process.
Staffing both the virtual option and our hybrid models are based on student need and staffing (teacher certification). If a student opts out of the virtual option, they are highly likely to return to the teacher that they started the year with, but this is not guaranteed.
Parents have also asked if their students can opt for virtual after tomorrow’s deadline. This is possible depending upon our ability to staff classes and meet class size requirements. Thus, our deadline is a “soft deadline”.
Parents have also asked why their children cannot keep the same teachers that they have had in Remote Learning. This is impossible at the elementary level because our traditional teachers will teach face-to-face all day beginning on 10/26. It’s not likely at the middle and high school level because the hybrid model has 6-12 teachers teaching live 4 days a week while also providing recorded lessons and independent assignments on days that students are remote.
The pacing of lesson delivery is much different in this model and is often dependent on what is achieved on days in school. Thus, the students in the Virtual School will need to be facilitated by other teachers. An exception is at the high school level due to the broad array of course offerings that may allow for some synchronous delivery due to the small number of students in some virtual classes.
Parents will be able to log-in to Parent Portal on Monday, October 19 to view their student(s) schedule and assigned teacher(s).
Virtual School teachers will be contacting parents/HS students on Wednesday, October 21, or Thursday, October 22.