WBTV Back to school 2020: District-by-district plans

WBTV Back to school 2020: District-by-district plans
Back to School 2020 (Source: WVUE)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - There is controversy over sending students back into the classroom this fall and not all school districts in our area are following the same plan.

In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper gave districts the choice between two options. North Carolina schools will reopen in August under “Plan B,” allowing both in-person and remote learning.

Most schools in North Carolina plan to reopen on August 17.

The “Plan B” approach lets students participate in a mix of in-classroom and remote learning. This plan involves some students potentially rotating schedules, with some students not coming onto campus at all. Schools will also be allowed the option of completely virtual learning, as laid out in North Carolina‘s “Plan C.”

Cooper said this plan is “a measured, balanced approach that will allow children to attend but provide important safety protocols like fewer children in the classroom, social distancing, face masks and more.”

Schools in North Carolina are required to have teachers and students (kindergarten through 12th grade) wear face coverings when they are within six feet of another person, unless an exception applies.

For more guidance on North Carolina’s school reopening and safety measures being taken, click here. For frequently asked questions about school reopenings, click here.

In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster called on schools to give parents the choice between remote learning and sending their children back to school five days a week.

“If a parent wants to send their child back to school, they should be able to do so - and do so with confidence,” McMaster said, “If a parent wants to keep a child at home, they should be able to do that, and do it with confidence.”

The State Department of Education has directed public schools to submit their completed school reopening plans for review and approval by Friday, July 17.

Students and drivers are expected to wear masks when on school buses in South Carolina this fall in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.



After reviewing data, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools changed its course on the district’s reopening plans for the upcoming school year.

CMS will now begin the 2020-21 school year with “Plan C,” a full remote option.

The new reopening plans were voted on by the school board, and it passed unanimously.

Students will start remote instruction beginning Aug. 17, and will continue until it is safe to enter the school buildings and be near their peers, according to CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) had initially planned to follow a Plan B + Remote, meaning students and teachers would meet for in-person learning during the first two weeks of school.

Under the initial PlanB+Remote plan, CMS said 35% of students registered for the Full Remote Academy.

MECK Pre-K, a voluntary public pre-kindergarten program that allows parent choice based on individual family needs and preferences, will start the 2020-2021 school year with in-person instruction.


The Gaston County School Board has also voted to reopen in the fall under Plan B, meaning schools will reopen with a combination of in-person and remote instruction.

Students will be divided into groups. One group will attend school on Monday and Tuesday, and the other group will attend school on Thursday and Friday.

All students will engage in remote learning at home on Wednesday and on the weekdays when they are not at school.


Rowan-Salisbury Schools are offering parents an option between a virtual academy or letting children attend school two days week and learn remotely the other three.

For in-person learning, students will be divided into two groups (Group A & Group B). For those choosing the Virtual Academy, there is a K-8 academy and a high school virtual academy. They are treated was separate schools, each with its own principal and staff. Registration for the Virtual Academy has since closed.

Students will attend school face-to-face two days per week and learn remotely three days a week. Wednesdays will be used for cleaning. Accommodations will be made for families with children in different grade spans, students with special needs, or issues related to work schedules,” RSS says.

All students will be provided an iPad for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Cabarrus County Board of Education voted to begin the 2020-21 school year with full remote learning, Plan C.

District officials say they will continue to monitor health conditions and the state and federal guidelines to determine when returning to in-person schooling will be staff for students and staff.

Cabarrus County Schools will operate under Plan C, full remote learning.
Cabarrus County Schools will operate under Plan C, full remote learning. (Source: Cabarrus County Schools)


Iredell-Statesville Schools are limited to no greater than 50 occupancy and students will have the option between blended learning and virtual learning.

For grades K-8, students whose last name begins with the letter A through M will attend schools on Mondays and Tuesdays and students with a last name that begins with N through Z will attend schools on Thursdays and Fridays. Students will have virtual learning on the three days that they are not on the school campus.

The district says students may be grouped differently based in AIG, EC or ESL status or if they have siblings who have a different last name.

For grades 9-12, students will practice “blended learning” Monday through Friday. High schools will designate days for courses that require in-person learning.

Kannapolis City Schools will operate with blended learning and full remote learning options.

Under the blended learning, KCS will be split into two groups

  • Group A: Face-to-face learning on Monday and Tuesday, and remote learning on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Group B: Remote learning on Monday and Tuesday and face-to-face learning on Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday will be a remote-learning day for all students.

Students learning remotely full-time will use an online platform called Edgenuity, which the district says is a state-approved platform that aligns with the North Carolina standards.


The Board of Education in Union County voted to implement Plan B for the 2020-2021 school year. Under this plan:

  • UCPS will operate with a 4-day weekly rotation.
  • Schedules will enable a hybrid of in-school and virtual learning plans
  • Students will attend school on Monday – Thursday on their assigned day. When students are not in the school building on their assigned day, they will work in a remote learning environment.
  • Friday will be a remote learning day for all students. This plan will repeat weekly.

UCPS also introduced a virtual option (Plan D) that will be offered to students in grades 2-12. Union County Public Schools says 7,849 students applied for the Plan D Virtual Academy.

Hickory Public Schools students will return through remote-learning starting August 17 and continuing through September 11. The board will monitor metrics related to COVID-19 as they phase into Plan B, blended learning, which appears to be on September 14. Parents will have the option to keep children in Plan C, full remote learning.

Under Plan B, students will be divided into 2-3 groups.

A brief summary of today's HPS "Return to Learn" news with more updates to come next week. Thank you.

Posted by Hickory Public Schools on Monday, July 20, 2020


In Anson County, schools will reopen with limited building and bus capacity, and the plan will include a remote learning component. The Anson County School District is looking for community input as they move forward with reopening plans.

The district launched a survey for families.

Stanly County Schools developed a plan to reopen based on the requirements announced by Cooper: Full remote learning or a blended option that includes in-person instruction.

Stanly County Schools parents and guardians are asked to complete the Intent to Return form, which offers the two choices.

Stanly County Schools developed a plan to reopen based on the requirements announced by Cooper: Full remote learning of in-person instruction.
Stanly County Schools developed a plan to reopen based on the requirements announced by Cooper: Full remote learning of in-person instruction. (Source: Stanly County Schools)

Avery County Schools will begin on August 17 under Plan B, blended learning, plus a remote option. The deadline for parents to enroll students in the virtual program is August 7.


Students will start school on August 17 under Plan B in Lincoln County. Parents of high-risk students and families may choose for their child to learn remotely, the district says.

A blended, hybrid model of learning with both in-person and remote learning will be in place. Students in grades K-8 will remain in self contained classrooms for Core Content instruction.

The district will operate with staggered entry at 25% for the first two weeks and approximately 50% during week 3. Students will be divided into 4 cohorts. Open House would occur virtually August 11-13.


In Ashe County, grades K-12 will follow a hybrid model which includes both face-to-face instruction and remote learning from home on designated days. About half the student population will be in the building at a given time.

The district is still awaiting guidance from the state before a decision is made about preschool programs.

Click here for more on Plan C, remote learning.


In Catawba County, students may opt for a full remote learning option or the state’s Plan B, a mix of in-person and virtual learning.

Parents will need to complete a “Student Intent Form” for each student by August 1, the district says, which will provide information on learning choice and whether children will need bus transportation.

Caldwell County’s Board of Education approved a blended education model, consisting of in-person instruction combined with remote learning. Parents may opt for full remote learning in grades K-12.

Students who choose Caldwell Connect will participate in a real-time, whole group learning environment taught by Caldwell County Schools’ teachers, the district says. Students who choose this option will not report to a school building for instruction.

To participate in the remote option, students and families will need to register online by July 31.

“Students enrolled in a traditional high school will be assigned an A or B group and will attend four class periods each day on their assigned days. Cooperative Innovative High School settings for grades 9 through 13 (Early College High School and Caldwell Applied Sciences Academy) will participate in a hybrid model including both face to face instruction and remote instruction. Students will attend school two days a week and then work remotely three days each week,” Caldwell County Schools says.


Watauga County Schools will start the 2020-2021 school year with nine weeks of remote learning with a “modified Plan B” aimed to safely phase back into school.

School officials first announced that students would return under a 2x3 Flex plan, where students would attend school in person for two days and then be schooled remotely for three days.

Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade on the 2x3 Flex plan will start the school year fully remote on August 17. District officials say students will return for in-person instruction under Plan B of the 2x3 Flex Plan on October 19, if conditions allow.

School personnel will contact families who applied for the Watauga Virtual Academy (WVA) to make sure they still want to move forward with that option.


Cleveland County Schools is operating under Plan B, a blended method of in-person and remote learning. Schools will break children into two separate groups: Group A and Group B. Group A will attend class for in-person instruction on Monday and Tuesday and will learn remotely Wednesday through Friday. Group B will learn remotely Monday through Wednesday and will attend in-person learning on Thursday and Friday.

Parents also have the option to enroll children in full remote learning.


Burke County Schools will start on Aug. 17 under Plan B, with both in person and remote instruction. Parents can also choose for their students to learn two days in school and three days remotely, or they can choose full remote learning through the Burke County Virtual Academy.

Under Plan B, the face-to-face instruction will take place on a rotating schedule, the district says. One group of students will be in school buildings on Mondays and Thursdays and a second group of students will be in school buildings on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesday will be a remote day for everyone.


Fort Mill Schools are offering 2 choices to students as school starts back on August 31:

  1. A full return of students to face-to-face learning, five days a week.
  2. A full virtual option (Fort Mill Virtual Academy) for those that choose not to return to face-to-face learning.

Elementary school students will return to class following the Family Model with an A/B model schedule for the first four weeks of school (August 31–September 25). Parents will have the option to register for the Fort Mill Virtual Academy or return for in-person learning. The registration period ended on July 17.

Face coverings will be required for students and staff returning for in-person learning in Fort Mill.

The learning options for Rock Hill Schools students are:

  • A full return of students to face-to-face learning, five days a week.
  • A full virtual option for those that choose not to return to face-to-face learning, which would be available through the Rock Hill Schools Virtual Academy.

Students who choose in-person learning will attend in a C/A/B/A/B model, Rock Hill Schools says. That plan will be published here.

The new calendar pushes the start date for all students to Tuesday, September 8. Pre-K through 8th grade students will participate in LEAP week, August 31 - September 4, in small groups to become more acclimated to the procedures that will be put in place for the year, the district says.


In Chester County, the district will provide two options to parents to choose from for instruction. The options are:

1. A full return of students to face-to-face learning (five days a week)

2. A full virtual option for those that choose not to return to face-to-face learning (Chester County Virtual Academy).

Chester County Schools will start back on September 8, with Pre-K to 8th grade starting LEAP August 20 through August 26.


Chesterfield County Schools is offering a blend of remote learning and in-person learning. The plan varies by grade. Click here to view the back-to-school plan for Chesterfield County.


York School District One created a full-time online learning program to accommodate students who may not be ready to return to face-to-face instruction due to COVID-19 or other concerns. The program will serve students in grades K through 12. The virtual academy will continue to operate using online learning and teaching, regardless of the level of spread of COVID-19, the district says.

Families will enroll their students(s) in the face-to-face setting as determined by the district; Traditional, Hybrid, or Remote. The district and/or school will communicate directly to parents when changes in the student learning model must be initiated.

York School District 1
York School District 1 (Source: York County District One)

The Clover School District is sticking with its originally published back-to-school plan, one that is similar to surrounding districts of Rock Hill and Fort Mill. Students will head back on August 24, with elementary schools starting their A/B schedule on August 31.

The district is offering a three-tiered plan that includes a “Traditional Model, a “Hybrid Model” and an “eLearning Model.”

The Hybrid Model, which will be in place at the beginning of the school year, will put middle and high school students on a blended schedule. The Hybrid Model for this group is called the A/B/“S.E.E.” Model:

  • Half of the students will receive in-person instruction on Monday and Wednesday and the other half will receive in-person instruction on Tuesday and Thursday. Select students will participate in small-group learning on Fridays. Middle school students will start school at 8:30 a.m. and high school students will start at 9 a.m. each day to allow buses to drop off middle school students first and then travel to the high school.

The Hybrid Model for elementary students is called the Family Model:

  • Elementary students will attend school at their regular time (7:30 a.m. – 2:20 p.m.) five days a week. Students will receive all instruction, meals, and related arts in their classrooms. All families who need bus transportation are asked to register for a bus seat. Parents will be sent a link by the district to register.

CSD says they will also offer eLearning to grades PK – 12 “if the spread of the virus forces us to move to back to eLearning for a class, a school, or for the whole district.”

The Lancaster County School District is offering two learning models for the 2020-21 school year. Those models include a face-to-face A/B schedule and a remote learning A/B schedule.

Students will head back on August 31.

With the face-to-face model, students will receive on-campus instruction for two days a week and engage in at home learning with teacher support for the remaining three days.

The district will assign students to A or B groups and notify students of their assignment after the July 31 registration deadline. Students in grades 2-12 will be issued a device, charger, and case for school and home use, the district says. Students in grades K-1 will utilize paper-and-pencil learning packets and other instructional resources. Students with limited WiFi may access designated school WiFi zones.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidelines heavily emphasize sending students back to school this fall, despite what the CDC described as “mixed evidence about whether returning to school results in increased transmission or outbreaks” of COVID-19. The new guidelines arrived the same day the U.S. surpassed 4 million coronavirus cases.

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