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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : news : education January 23, 2021

7/20/2020 9:35:00 AM
Back-To-School Plans

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

The reopening plan for Lincoln County Schools was covered in our article last week Update On Schools Reopening & More.  

It took three hours and forty-five minutes, but the Lincoln Charter School Board met Thursday night (July 16th) and finally decided to start the 2020-2021 school year under a temporary Plan C (remote learning only). 

Administrator Jonathan Bryant said: "This plan will utilize eLearning for grades K-12, and this decision will be reevaluated regularly and continuously.  Our goal is to move into a Plan B (mixed remote learning and in-school classes) as soon as we are able to do so safely.  This decision was made to err on the side of caution and the safety of our entire community.

 "We worked tirelessly to prepare for in-school instruction in August.  Our buildings are clean, we have hand sanitizer, thermometers, masks, and plexiglass coming into place for the start of the school year.  We are working on schedules, professional development for teachers/staff, orientations, and all of the components that will help us transition into another successful year.  These preparations will continue throughout the remainder of the summer and into the start of the year to ensure the safest learning environment possible for our students and staff.

 "I want to be clear that our goal is to have students physically return to school. Under Plan C, staff will be at school facilitating eLearning that is engaging and meets students’ needs.  This is not an ideal environment for anyone, but we will move forward together.  As we GEAR UP for the 2020-2021 school year we want to stress that now it is more important than ever for all of us to work together in a positive way.  Education is like a giant machine with many moving components or gears.  Each gear interacts with the others to generate motion, increase force, and/or change direction. It is important for our entire community to work together to meet the mission of Lincoln Charter School.  

 "As we start school remotely, we will release details about opportunities for students and parents to connect with teachers on campus to start the year. We are also developing opportunities to engage throughout the eLearning period.  Details will continue to be released in the coming weeks."  

 This Thursday (July 23rd) Lincoln Charter will host two virtual Town Hall meetings.  These Town Halls will begin with clear communication about our plans for reopening and will last approximately one hour.  Following information about the implementation plan, we will address questions received via the eLearning Feedback Survey.  

Session 1 will be at 8 AM Thursday.  Parents of Lincoln Charter School students can register in advance for this webinar  at 

Session 2 will be at 6 PM.  You can register in advance for this webinar at 

The Catawba County School Board also met Thursday evening (July 16th) and formulated the plan for the reopening of Catawba County Schools.  They will operate under plan B--a mixture of on-campus and remote learning--for the most part.  You can see details of the plan at

Superintendent Dr. Matt Stover said: "Overwhelmingly, parents and staff chose Option 1, which means that most of our students will be attending school in-person two days per week and learning remotely three days per week, every week. There are exceptions, including Pre-K, kindergarten, first grade, self-contained EC students, and more, so please take a look at the document. 

"We will also have an easing-in period during the first two weeks of school where students will only attend one day per week. Students will be divided into groups based on their last name. There will be exceptions in order to keep families together and to accommodate carpooling wherever possible. 

"We realize that you may have more questions than answers at this point, but we wanted to get this information out to you as soon as it was approved. 

"This week, you will receive information about your options for the 2020-21 school year, details about processes and procedures, transportation, and meals, plus answers to many of your questions. You will also receive a Return-to-Learn Student Intention Form that will be required to be completed for all students.
Please remember that you also have the choice to enroll your student in our 100% remote Online Catawba K-12 Virtual Academy if you do not want your K-12 student to attend in-person at all.  More details will follow this week.

"Catawba County Schools will also offer full-day child care services for student remote days at the following locations:  Oxford Elementary, Mountain View Elementary, Balls Creek Elementary, Maiden Elementary, St. Stephens Elementary, and Snow Creek Elementary. These sites will be capped at 50 students per location. We will also be offering Quest Before and After School care at every elementary school. 

"On Tuesday, we will send out details; in the meantime, we invite you to watch the recorded live-stream of Thursday's Board of Education meeting as a lot of your questions may be answered there. Additionally, we have posted the survey data on our website at"

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In Cleveland County, parents will have a choice of three options.

One of those is just like what Lincoln County plans: one group of students will attend school every Monday and Tuesday and another group on Thursday and Friday.

Days when students are not in a classroom, they will get remote instruction similar to the way the schools were doing at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

The second and third options include remote learning opportunities either through a child’s assigned school or the Innovation Virtual Academy.

For those parents who feel it is unsafe to send their child back to school now--whether for the child's safety, because of health problems the child may have or simply wanting to avoid the disease, or for the safety of other family members--totally remote learning will be an option. Later in the school year, if the pandemic lessens, those parents may then choose to let their child go to class at their assigned school.

The Innovation Academy simply makes the remote learning option long-term rather than temporary.

Parents who want their child to return to face-to-face instruction under the blended model won't need to take any extra action before the start of school. Those who want to choose remote learning--either short-term or long-term, will need to provide a letter of intent to the schools. A form for doing just that is available online on the Cleveland County Schools website.

Whichever of the three options parents choose, they're being asked to choose it for the full first semester unless circumstances change.  

The Gaston County Board of Education met Monday afternoon (July 20th) and approved a reopening plan almost identical to Lincoln County's.  Students will go to school Monday & Tuesday or Thursday & Friday and will do remote learning on the days they are not at school.  For parents who don't feel safe sending their kids back to school, the Gaston Virtual Academy will offer totally remote learning.

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Related Stories:
• Catawba County Schools "Return To Learn"
• Update On Schools Reopening & More

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