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Swain County Schools approves Hybrid Plan B in split vote

Tonight the Swain County Board of Education voted in a split decision to move forward with a hybrid Plan B model for the Fall school year. The vote, which passed 3-2, will begin the school year with Plan B, students attending school 2 days per week in alternating days, and having 3 days of remote learning.

Students will be split into A and B groups with A students attending school on Monday and Tuesday and B students on Thursday and Friday with Wednesday being an all remote learning day for students and a cleaning/sanitizing day for staff.

School leaders cautioned that if conditions revolving around COVID19 worsened, the district could mandate Plan C at any time. Board members Wilson and Carpenter voted against Plan B and advocates for Plan C district wide.

Parents wishing to have their children enrolled in virtual learning 100% of the time, also known as Plan C, will be permitted to do so. Students must be enrolled in virtual learning by July 31. Students enrolled in Plan C must remain in Plan C for the entire semester. However, students enrolled in Plan B may transition to Plan C at anytime.

Individuals from outside of the Swain County School system will NOT be accepted after July 31.

Internet hotspots will be developed throughout Swain County through partnerships with organizations such as churches and community centers for WiFi locations for students to access whenever needed.

The board emphasized that although students will not be in the classroom 3 days a week, those 3 days will still require school work and remote learning if those students are enrolled in Plan B.

Superintendent Mark Sale noted that temperature checks will be given to all students as they board school buses and students registering a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be able to board the bus, regardless of or they have a parent waiting for them at home.

Student transfers between schools such as East and West Elementary will not be allowed, due to the impact it could have on registration numbers.

After school care and programs will not be permitted across the district at this time. Funds for such programs will be used to facilitate remote learning opportunities.

The Swain County Board of Education will meet again on August 3 to continue monitoring COVID19 and make any needed adjustments prior to the beginning of the school year.


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