Community Awareness & Alerts » Road to ReOpening for '20/'21

Road to ReOpening for '20/'21

Please scroll to the bottom of this page to review the entire document below for important details concerning the reopening of schools in North Carolina.
Frequently Asked Questions - Quality Reviews
   Frequently Asked Questions
How Was This Guidance For Reopening Schools Developed?

Governor Cooper has implemented a three-phased approach to slowly lift restrictions while combating COVID-19, protecting North Carolinians and working together to recover the economy.
In order to secure the safety and protection of children and their families across the state, Governor Cooper, in collaboration with the NC State Board of Education (NCSBE) and the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), closed public school buildings for in-person instruction through Executive Order No 117 on March 14, and extended through the rest of the 2019-2020 school year via Executive Orders Nos 120 and 138.
On March 14, 2020, Governor Cooper established an Education and Nutrition Working Group to develop a plan to ensure that children and families were supported while schools were closed Since then, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has worked closely with NCDPI and NCSBE to meet the nutritional, educational and child care needs of students during school closure, and plan for safely reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year. Throughout the process, school, child care, child nutrition, and community leaders and stakeholders have been engaged to share ideas and provide input.
How Should this Toolkit be Used?

Families and students should use this guidance to understand what health practices will be in place when students return to school All public schools will be required to follow certain health practices in this guidance noted as “required ” Many schools may also choose to implement some or all of the recommended practices.

Local education leaders are required to use this guidance to understand what health practices they must meet, and to develop detailed district and school plans for how to implement all required health practices described in this toolkit. The Public Health Toolkit should be used in combination with operational guidance provided by NCDPI which includes strategies to implement the health guidance in schools, and to address other non-health areas for reopening planning, including scheduling supports, how to approach instructional practice, and providing staff training.
Who Will Decide How Schools Can Reopen and Stay Open Safely?

The Governor’s Office and NCDHHS, in consultation with NCSBE and NCDPI, will determine how schools can reopen safely for the 2020-21 school year based on the state’s COVID-19 metrics by July 1st, 2020.
Future decisions to increase or ease restrictions will be made if the state’s or a region’s COVID-19 metrics worsen or improve. A combination of metrics is used to determine NC’s progress in combating COVID-19 and guide the state’s path forward.
These metrics include:
• The number of lab confirmed cases
• The percentage of positive tests relative to the total number of tests
• The number of daily hospitalizations
• The number of emergency department visits for COVID-like illness
• Overall state capacity for testing, contract tracing and supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
How Should Schools Plan for Different Scenarios Depending on COVID-19 Spread and Metrics?

Local education leaders are directed to plan for reopening K-12 public schools under three potential scenarios, depending on what restrictions are necessary when school opens, or at any time in the school year, to control the spread of the disease.

Schools are required to create the following three plans:

Plan A: Minimal Social Distancing – Will be implemented assuming state COVID-19 metrics continue to stabilize and/or move in a positive direction All requirements in this guidance apply to Plan A
Plan B: Moderate Social Distancing – Will be required if state COVID-19 metrics worsen and it is determined additional restrictions are necessary All requirements in this guidance apply, with additional requirements in the Social Distancing and Minimizing Exposure section noted for Plan B only
Plan C: Remote Learning Only – Will be implemented only if state COVID-19 metrics worsen significantly enough to require suspension of in-person instruction and the implementation
of remote learning for all students, based on the remote learning plans required by Session Law 2020-3 The requirements listed in this guidance would not apply, as students and staff would not be gathering together in groups on school grounds.

School districts may choose to implement a more restrictive Plan but may not choose to implement a less restrictive Plan than established by NCDHHS, NCSBE, and NCDPI.
NC school toolkit