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    During this time of school closure our staff wants to be work with our students and parents as a resource during these uncertain times. This document is provided to share information on a variety of topics. Please refer back to it often as we will use it to provide the latest information. As always, please contact the school if you have questions or need anything. 

    Academics

    • Student Learning- In response to the Governor’s original school closing order, Gaston County Schools provided hard copy academic packets for various subjects. These were offered as a resource to parents and students. In response to the Governor’s extended school closing order, Gaston County Schools moved to online classes. For the week of March 30-April 3, Highland offered E-Classes for core and career and technical education (CTE) classes within a limited schedule. Beginning the week of April 6, Highland will offer E-Classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays following our normal four period daily schedule.
    • Grades and Attendance- Our goal is for all students to maximize their learning in all classes. Whether in the normal face-to-face setting or our E-Class setting, students should attend all classes and complete all assignments. However, we realize this current COVID-19 environment places uncertainty on everyone’s ability to maintain a “sense of norm.” On Friday, March 27, the State Board of Education issued guidance regarding grades. Since then Gaston County Schools has been working to develop procedures around this guidance. We are anticipating finalizing procedures for grades and attendance the week of April 6. 
    • Devices and Internet- Highland teachers have identified over 60 students who need a device. We have contacted each student and are providing a device for them. Providing internet access is a complicated issue. Gaston County Schools is working through the many variables and trying to develop a response to a students lack of internet access.  

    School Activities

    • Yearbook and Senior Graduation Packages- Highland is working with our vendors to ensure our students receive their yearbooks and graduation packages. We are working with Jostens to develop a delivery plan and will communicate plans for yearbook and graduation packages as soon as possible.  
    • Graduation- Highland is planning to hold graduation as scheduled. This date falls after the Governor’s school closing order. However, we will follow the direction of the Governor and Gaston County Schools should circumstances change.
    • Prom- Highland’s prom date of May 15 fell within the Governor’s school closing order. As such, we are working with our venue, The Loray Mill, to find an alternative date that falls after the school closing order. We hope to communicate this the week of April 6. 

    Athletics

    • On Monday, March 23 the Board of Directors for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) took action and suspended all athletic activities including games and practices. This action was in response to the Governor’s school closing order. All high school athletics are governed by the NCHSAA. Highland will follow the direction of the NCHSAA regarding the resumption of athletics moving forward. 

    General Information

    • Tuesday, March 10- Gaston County Schools cancelled Field Trips, Out-of State and In-State travel.
    • Friday, March 13- Gaston County Schools cancelled or postponed multiple events. 
    • Saturday, March 14- NC Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency. Included in this, he closed all public schools for two weeks, March 16-27, 2020.
    • The Week of March 16- Gaston County Schools made available a “Grab-n-Go” meal option, and “Academic Packets” for certain subjects.
    • Monday, March 23- NC Governor Roy Cooper extended the closing of public schools through May 15. Joint statement from the NC State Superintendent of Schools of the NC Board Of Education.
    • Monday, March 23- The Board of Directors for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) took action and suspended all athletic activities including games and practices.
    • Thursday, March 26- Gaston County Government issued a Stay-at-Home order effective Friday, March 27 at 5:00
    • Friday, March 27- Governor Cooper issued a Stay-at-Home order for North Carolina effective Monday, March 30, 2020.
    • Wednesday, April 1, 2020- Gaston County Schools adjusted school hours for both the public and employees. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the school is open 9:00-12:00. On Tuesday and Thursday the school is open 1:00-4:00.