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Gaston, Cabarrus, Watauga schools to make moves toward more in-person instruction

School boards for the three districts discussed how to respond to Gov. Roy Cooper's decision to allow elementary students to enter Plan A in two weeks.

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Three more North Carolina school districts have indicated plans to layer on more in-person learning.

Board of Education members in Gaston, Cabarrus, and Watauga Counties met separately Monday night to discuss how to respond to Gov. Roy Cooper's recent announcement about Plan A.

Last week, the governor said that elementary school students would be allowed to return to the classroom full-time, starting Oct. 5.

Gaston County’s Board of Education did not make a formal decision Monday. However, board members indicated they would eventually make the move toward Plan A, but wanted to do so in a deliberate manner.

"If we move too quick and something happens, I do not want to fall all the way back to a 'C,'" said Kevin Collier, Vice Chairman.

The board did not indicate any timeline for making a decision to transition.

RELATED: Gov. Cooper says elementary schools can soon allow full in-person learning

Right now, Gaston County is using alternating schedules of in-person instruction and online learning. Students are divided into two groups with group 1 reporting to school on Mondays and Tuesdays. Group 2 reports Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays are used for remote learning for all students.

RELATED: Hundreds continue to enroll in Gaston County Virtual Academy despite complaints

The Cabarrus County Board of Education did come away from its Monday night meeting with a vote to add on different degrees of in-person instruction.

In a 4-3 vote, the board decided to bring K-3 into Plan A for in-person learning starting October 19. That same day, 4th and 5th-grade students, as well as middle and high schoolers, will move to a revised Plan B with two days in the classroom and three days learning virtually. 

Currently, Cabarrus students are receiving live remote lessons and video lessons Monday through Thursday.  Fridays include independent practice, time for project work and office hours for the teaching staff. 

RELATED: List: School reopening plans

A Cabarrus County School Board member was caught using offensive language during Monday night’s board meeting. WCNC has reached out to the School Board and the Cabarrus Superintendent for comment. Stick with WCNC for the latest on that developing story.

In Watauga County, after starting the school year with nine weeks of remote learning, students will soon be able to transition Plan B.

At their special meeting Monday, board members voted unanimously to implement a reopening plan for in-person learning for grades K-3. Beginning October 5, students in those grades will be able to return to school in-person with a 2x3 flex schedule, with two days in the classroom and three learning virtually.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has already announced it will stick with its phased transition from virtual learning to hybrid learning, starting next month. Iredell-Statesville Schools reports it will move elementary school students to Plan A on Oct. 5.

RELATED: CMS Board of Education approves phased-in plan approach for returning to in-person instruction

The Plan A discussion will continue in other districts this week. Union County's Board of Education meets Tuesday, and Lincoln County's board meets Thursday to discuss their moves.