In-person Instruction to Increase for Middle and High School Students; Updates to Student Health Protocols Announced for All Schools
April 7, 2021– More GCS students will learn in-person five days per week starting on Monday, April 19.
The change affects secondary school students with disabilities who receive special education services through an individual education plan or 504 plan and English language learners who are not currently learning in-person five days per week.
The change also affects middle and high school students who currently attend school on a hybrid schedule, with two days of in-person instruction and three days of remote instruction each week.
“Our goal has always been to educate the maximum number of students in person for the greatest amount of time possible while keeping students and staff healthy and safe,” said Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras.
Secondary school students who are enrolled in a virtual school or who learn remotely through their home schools will remain on that plan through the end of the year. The district is not accepting new requests for in-person learning. Starting April 19, students will either attend virtually or in-person five days per week.
Currently, more than 47,800 PreK-12 students in GCS are learning in person. Yesterday, more than 400 elementary school students on wait lists for in-person learning were able to attend school for the first time since schools closed last spring due to the pandemic.
The changes were made possible by new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) regarding physical or social distancing. With masking requirements in place, the CDC and the NCDHHS now say that schools can place students 3 feet apart when desks are facing in the same direction.
Protocols requiring 6 feet of physical distance while waiting in lines and traveling through hallways and corridors remain in force, as do efforts to limit student and employee gatherings in meeting rooms and common spaces. Faculty, staff and school board meetings will continue to be held virtually through the end of the school year.
In keeping with the March 24 update to state public health protocols, GCS schools will stop requiring student health attestations prior to boarding a school bus, entering a school or classroom, or participating in athletics. Students temperatures will no longer be taken prior to school entry. This change will also go into effect on April 19.