From the Superintendent
Reopening of Schools
July 14, 2020
Dear Parents and Employees:
This afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper made an announcement about the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 academic year.
School districts across North Carolina, including Gaston County, will be able to implement a blended model of instruction (referred to as Plan B by the state) that allows for students to attend school in-person on a part-time basis and engage in remote learning at home.
While “Plan B” makes it possible for students to attend school in-person for the first time since March, it challenges school districts to develop a comprehensive plan that outlines how schools will operate when the new year begins on Monday, August 17. Our operational plan must take into consideration a number of health and safety guidelines, such as social distancing, wearing face coverings, hand washing recommendations and other cleanliness precautions, etc. as they relate to scheduling, classroom setup, delivery of instruction, bus transportation, school nutrition, arrival and dismissal procedures, and many other logistics.
Now that we have gotten an announcement from the Governor’s Office, our central level and school level administrators will spend time over the next several days finalizing the Gaston County Schools Reopening of Schools Plan. The plan will be presented to the Board of Education on Monday, posted to our website, and shared with you.
It goes without saying that the upcoming school year will be like none that we have ever experienced before. The coronavirus pandemic has changed almost everything about how we live, and it has brought about a “new normal” for our society. Without question, school will be very different for the unforeseeable future.
We know that you have many questions about what school will be like for 2020-2021. You will be receiving more information from us next week, and your school will be sharing information with you very soon. Additionally, we want to thank those of you who have shared your comments with us, sent an e-mail, completed our parent and staff surveys, and/or participated in our Parent Advisory Council meeting and our meeting with teacher representatives from the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE) local chapter. Your feedback is important to us as we develop our operational plan and the Board of Education considers the plan.
In the weeks and months ahead, we will need everyone associated with Gaston County Schools to be flexible, patient, open to change, understanding, and willing to do whatever is necessary to provide quality instruction for children while adhering to the highest health and safety standards. Make no mistake about it, the time ahead of us will be difficult, but our school family is very capable of turning challenges into opportunities.
Thank you for your support and commitment to Gaston County Schools. Working together, I am confident that we will continue to inspire success and a lifetime of learning even during an unprecedented pandemic.
W. Jeffrey Booker, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools