Yesterday afternoon, Governor Cooper made a surprise announcement that public school districts across North Carolina can consider reopening schools under Plan A for all K-5 students effective October 5th. We appreciate that the Governor has given local school districts additional flexibility with this latest Executive Order, which allows local Boards to decide to operate under Plans A, B, or C. Over the summer, in consultation with the Orange County Health Department, which included a review of the data available at that time and the continued high rates of infection in our community, the Board made the decision to open with Plan C, all remote instruction, for the first nine weeks of the school year. That plan will remain in effect until the Board votes to change it.
The school system has created a Metrics Monitoring Task Force of parents, students, staff, public health experts and community members to continue to monitor the data and provide recommendations, and is also participating in a partnership with Duke and UNC researchers to ensure we have the best scientific information available. At our next meeting on September 28th, we will review all available information and discuss our next steps toward safely transitioning to Plan B.
Please be aware that families and staff will be surveyed again next week. More details about the Plan B model will be included to enable families and staff to provide more informed feedback that will help us as we continue our efforts to transition to Plan B.
Orange County Schools is eager to welcome all of our students, staff and families back to in-person instruction when it is safe to do so, but for now, we believe it is important to continue operating with our current safety protocols that are making a difference in our community and others.
Thank you for your continued support during this challenging time.