Currituck County Schools to open with online learning only for the first nine weeks

[Currituck County Schools photo]

As expected, the Currituck County Board of Education voted Monday to operate schools during the first nine weeks with online instruction only.

Classes will begin next month under “Plan C”, following a 3-2 vote by the school board. The board formally adopted the plan that was initially agreed upon as a motion at a work session last week.

Board chairperson Karen Etheridge, vice-chair Dwan Craft and Bill Dobney voted in favor. Will Crodick and Janet Rose were the opposing votes.

Crodick proposed earlier in the meeting to open the year all-virtual, with elementary students coming back to schools after four weeks and grades 6 through 12 for the second nine weeks. That motion failed on a voice vote.

“Currituck County Schools’ staff have been at work since last spring to evaluate and redesign the expectations for what quality remote learning should look like,” according to a press release.

“Unlike last year, the staff has had firsthand experiences, professional development and time to prepare for newly designed remote learning.”

The school system plans to offer an opportunity to meet with teachers and support staff ahead of the beginning of instruction, which is August 6 for J.P. Knapp Early College and August 17 for the rest of the county’s schools.

“A more definitive structure will be outlined for remote learning under Plan C while still offering students and families the flexibility to accommodate individual needs.”

While students in most cases were not given a letter grade based on state guidance for 2019-20 after the closing of in-person instruction in mid-March, grading practices will revert back to traditional methods for the coming year.

“It is important to note that while this plan is in place for the initial start of the 2020-21 school year, it is the intent of Currituck County Schools to ensure the level of instruction is up to the standards that ensure student growth and success.”

“Plans will be in place to increase the level of student rigor after teachers have had the opportunity to lay the expectation and foundations for the school year.”

The school system said they will be reviewing their execution of online instruction over the first nine weeks, along with information from state education and health agencies to adapt and revise plans.

“Currituck County Schools looks forward to bringing students and staff back together in a traditional learning environment as soon as possible.”

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