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CCPS delays in-person start

The Charlotte County Public School Board has approved pushing back the start of in-person hybrid instruction and have made face covering mandatory for all staff and students.

The school system’s plan still offers parents two options for educating their children.

CCPS students are currently learning 100% virtually and were set to begin in-person hybrid learning on Tuesday, Sept. 8. That start will now be Monday, Sept. 14.

“The change was made because starting in-person hybrid instruction on the 14th would allow students to return on a normal school week instead of starting on the Tuesday after Labor Day,” CCPS Superintendent Robbie Mason said. “Starting on a Tuesday could be very confusing for families.”

In addition to the start after the Labor Day holiday, board members have approved a mask mandate for students and staff when six-foot distancing cannot be maintained.

“We are excited to prepare for our students to return to school. We wish that students could return every day, but that is not the safest option for CCPS at this time,” Mason said.

CCPS has determined the following order of when students will attend school in person and how schools will function:

Parents may choose to have their children remain at home all week and receive remote instruction from their teachers through Google Classroom, or they may elect to send their children back to school two days per week and participate in remote instruction for the remainder of the week.

• Students who have last names beginning with A-J will attend school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, while students who have last names beginning with K-Z will attend school in-person on Wednesdays and Thursdays. No students will attend school on Fridays as teachers will use this time to communicate with remote learners and update remote learning lessons.

• All CCPS students and staff will be required to wear face coverings.

• Since students will be seated one per seat on school buses, six-foot social distancing will not be maintained. As a result, all students who ride on school buses and in county cars will be required to wear face coverings. “Wearing a face covering not only protects the student, but it also protects other students and staff,” Mason said.

• Staff will conduct health screenings for students upon their arrival to school each morning. Temperatures will be taken using touchless thermometers and students will be asked a few, simple screening questions. If a student has a temperature above 100 degrees or shows other symptoms, the parent will be contacted to take the child home and follow the school division’s policy for returning to school after having a fever. CCPS staff will undergo daily health screenings, as well.

• Parents are asked to check their child’s temperature and make sure that he or she is symptom-free before sending the child to school each morning.

• Students who are using the 100% remote option for instruction (at home all week) must call the child’s school one week before returning to in-person instruction to ensure that classroom and bus space is properly considered for the student’s return.

• Parents who plan for their children to ride a school bus during the school year are encouraged to have them ride the bus on the first day of school both to school and back home in the afternoon. This allows the school system to accurately evaluate the number of students on buses and check bus routes for accuracy.

• Parents will not be able to walk their children into school on the first day, or any other school days, until further notice.

Parents are encouraged to complete and submit the survey sent home through their child’s Google Classroom regarding their plans for sending their children back to school.

Mason has continued to ask for parent’s understanding during this time of uncharted waters for the CCPS.

“We are constantly monitoring health data and working with the Piedmont Health District to make decisions about reopening,” he said.