Dare County Schools planning for all contingencies

Published 5:34 pm Monday, June 15, 2020

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“We are planning for all contingencies,” John Farrelly told the Dare County Board of Education. The Superintendent of Schools was far less certain on what school would look like when students return.

Newly released state guidelines outline three possible scenarios: Plan A – minimal social distancing, Plan B – moderate social distancing and Plan C – remote learning only. Farrelly told the education board the governor’s office and state agencies will make the final decision, but it is up to local schools to develop plans to implement the decision.

Farrelly thought Plan B or a version of it was likely. He told the education board that the plan would require the implementation of restrictions including temperature checks, restrictions on classroom sizes, social distancing rules and school transportation changes.

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He spoke of the difficulties of checking large numbers of students’ temperatures as they entered school, which would most likely extend the school day, the need for additional school buses that come at an additional cost, lunches served in classrooms instead of a cafeteria, limited movements of students, accommodations for at risk students and staff. The need for masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing buildings would add to the cost of education. Student athletic programs could also be in jeopardy.

Farrelly will meet with school administrators, principals and committees to formulate an action plan under the various guidelines including hybrid plans in case the guidelines change. He said it is expected the state will have a better idea by July 1 on how to open schools perhaps by August. The decision will be based on metrics of the COVID-19 infection rate.



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