Return to Headlines

GCS Board of Education Considering Options to Reopen Schools


July 14, 2020 – The Guilford County Board of Education is considering three scenarios to reopen schools under Plan B, which Governor Roy Cooper announced today would be used statewide at the start of the school year.

Plan B calls for moderate social distancing, 50 percent occupancy in school buildings, and a mix of in-person and remote learning. Moderate social distancing also means that fewer students can attend school in person at the same time.

In presenting the plan to the school board, Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras recommended that the first five weeks of school open as remote learning for all students, followed by Scenario A, which would allow students in grades K-8 to attend school five days a week.

As part of Scenario A, high school students would learn remotely five days a week. Students with disabilities or who are learning English, homeless or living in foster care would attend school full time, regardless of grade level.

In Scenario B, students to come to school two days a week and to learn from home for three days a week, in alternating groups. Scenario C would alternate weeks so that half of the student body would attend school one week, and the other half would attend the next week. Remote learning would take place on the alternate weeks. Click here to view more details about the scenarios.

The board will decide which of the three scenarios the district will use later this month. The district’s goal is to serve the largest number of students for the greatest amount of time while keeping students and staff as healthy and safe as possible. If the board chooses to start the school year with remote learning, it would review current health data for Guilford County and re-evaluate its plans before moving forward.

“We know there are no perfect answers and that each scenario has its advantages and disadvantages,” says Contreras. “We want to give students the best environment possible, whether that’s a blended model or one that provides different styles of instruction to students in different grade levels. Ultimately, we cannot compromise the health and safety of our students and staff.”

In all three scenarios under consideration, eligible students in grades 11 and 12 would be encouraged to participate in Career and College Promise, which allows students to take college classes free of charge through Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) while in high school.

Students may also apply to one of the district’s two new virtual schools, which were recently approved by the state. Guilford eLearning Virtual Academy will serve students in grades K-5. Guilford eLearning University Prep will serve students in grades 6-8. High school students will be able to enroll in the University Prep program but remain students at their current high schools. Applications are now open; click here to apply.

The board will adopt a plan at the July 28 meeting.