• 82°

County schools seek family input on reopening

As school systems across North Carolina await more concrete guidelines on reopening schools this fall, Beaufort County Schools is seeking feedback from local parents to help guide its planning for the upcoming semester. To make that happen, the school system is seeking feedback on the spring semester from both parents and students in a pair of surveys released this week.

In both, parents and students are asked to share their experiences with remote instruction, from internet service availability to interactions with teachers. It also asks questions about students’ basic needs, ranging from food and housing to emotional wellbeing.

The survey for parents is available at tinyurl.com/bcsparentsurvey2020, and the survey for students can be found at tinyurl.com/bcs2020studentsurvey.

“We want to hear from as many parents and students as possible as we make our plans for reentry,” said BCS Student Services Director Ashley Padgett.

Earlier this month, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction laid out three possibilities for reopening schools this fall. Plan A would allow all students to be in school at the same time, with minimal social distancing and enhanced health protocols. Plan B would limit schools to 50% capacity at any given time and require social distancing of six feet between students, teachers and staff at all times. Finally, Plan C would continue remote learning in a similar manner to how schools operated this spring.

According to a press release from NCDPI, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, NCDPI and the State Board of Education, will decide which plan will guide school operations by July 1.

As BCS makes its plans for the fall, staff members are considering what each of these three overarching plans might look like when tailored to local schools. Padgett says feedback from these surveys will play a big part in that process.

“We’re pushing it out as fast as we can and want all surveys to be done by July 1, if possible,” Padgett said. “The reason for that is, we’re using them as we plan reentry.”

Paper copies of those surveys will also be made available at summer feeding sites throughout the county, as well as the BCS central office, for those who might have difficulty accessing the documents online. Once a decision comes down from the state on reopening schools, Padgett says the school system plans to share more detailed information and make a comprehensive effort to reach out to parents and students in a variety of ways.

In the meantime, parents can find more information and resources at www.beaufort.k12.nc.us.