Robeson County schools to use remote learning for first 9 weeks

State - Regional

ROBESON CO, NC (WBTW) – The Robeson County Board of Education voted to begin the school year with remote learning for all students.

Students will begin officially on Aug. 17.

The school district will continue remote learning through the first nine weeks of school and will monitor COVID-19 trends and statistics in Robeson County to make an informed decision about the operation of the second nine weeks at a later date.

Superintendent Dr. Shanita Wooten made the recommendation based on the work of the PSRC Recovery Plan Stakeholder Group and in consultation with NC DHHS, Robeson County Health Department, and NC Department of Public Instruction.

The decision was also informed by the recent family and employee surveys and regular communication with superintendents throughout North Carolina.

Dr. Wooten stressed that remote learning will be vastly different than the Continuity of Learning conducted by all North Carolina schools this past spring, and will include direct instruction and grading of student work.

Key areas and details of the reopening plan continue to be fully developed and will be shared as they are finalized. You can read part of Dr. Wooten’s formal recommendation below.

“It is my recommendation that the Public Schools of Robeson County open under Plan C using remote learning only. There will be no in-person instruction for students for the first nine weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. Like many school districts across the state, we’ve created a local plan to support our schools based on the best information available. Teachers will return on August 10, 2020, in order to continue the professional development that began this summer. The more people a staff member interacts with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. It is unlikely that all employees will be able to return to the workplace at once.”

Students will begin officially on August 17th. This first nine weeks ends on October 16, 2020. In order for our employees, students and families to prepare, we will provide an update about the second nine weeks no earlier than September 25, 2020. If metrics improve, this will provide time for everyone to transition smoothly to a less restrictive learning environment that protects everyone’s health and safety.

This year, there will be a shift in the way educators plan, instruct, and assess student learning. We will develop step-by-step videos for parents and grandparents as it relates to instructional materials and at-a-glance resources. Hotlines will be set up for any technical assistance as needed. We will embed social and emotional learning and culturally responsive practices to support students. We will continue to invest in connectivity and devices to ensure every student, educator, or instructional staff member has access to reliable connectivity or hardware to maintain continuous remote learning. Without access to reliable connectivity and hardware, students do not have the opportunity to engage in asynchronous remote learning.

I want to be clear. Our goal and responsibility is to ensure access is available to all. And tonight, our top focus is the health and safety of students and employees as we support each school in their efforts to reopen and operate. I know this school year will look different and we will have to make adjustments. I am also confident that we will get this done, together.”

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