The Macon County Board of Education is scheduled to meet for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on September 28, at which time the board will consider plans for elementary school students to return to the classroom at full capacity under Plan A.
Governor Roy Cooper announced last week that after several weeks of stable COVID-19 trends and continued low virus spread in school settings, beginning on October 5, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5).
Every district will continue to have the flexibility to select Plan A, B, or C based on their unique needs. In addition, districts should still provide an option for families to select all remote learning for their students.
Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin said that school officials will decide next week whether or not elementary schools in Macon County will transition to Plan A on October 5.
As it stands, the board of education will consider transitioning students to Plan A – which would put all elementary schools attending school Monday-Thursday, with Friday continuing to be remote learning for all. Virtual Learning students will be permitted to remain virtual. The board will be considering moving to Plan A or remaining in Plan B, which has elementary students attending school at a reduced capacity, putting kids in the schools for in-person instruction two days a week.
Macon County Schools continue to address positive cases within the district, announcing Monday morning that a positive case was confirmed at Cartoogechaye Elementary School and contact tracing was being completed. Last week, positive cases at several schools were confirmed, resulting in quarantines for entire classrooms for the second time this semester.
North Carolina and the CDC states that students or staff must be quarantined for 14 days if they come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID19 – the Macon County Public Health is responsible for deciding who must quarantine based on close contact. The CDC defines close contact as closer than 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes, however, Macon County Health Director has issued quarantine orders for entire classrooms, where some parents say their children did not meet the close contact definition. McGaha said the health department is working on clarification as to what criteria is used to determine quarantines for exposure in the school setting.
The Jackson County Board of Education is scheduled to meet Tuesday, September 22 to discuss the possibility of transitioning to Plan A for elementary students as well.