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VERIFY: If your child is sick or in quarantine, here is how school districts in the Carolinas will handle at-home learning

WCNC Charlotte has an in-depth look at how school districts in the area will handle learning for students that miss school if they are sick or need to quarantine.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The new school year is underway for most districts in North Carolina and parents still have concerns about COVID-19 and remote learning. 

Among the questions is what happens when a child inevitably has to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 or tests positive? How are districts prepared to handle at-home learning for kids who can't come to school? 

WCNC Charlotte's VERIFY team went to each school district in the Charlotte area and heard from more than a dozen districts. 

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NORTH CAROLINA DISTRICTS

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district 

CMS will have virtual learning options for students who miss school. The district said they will be learning through Canvas, a web-based learning system. 

Avery County Schools 

The district has a remote learning plan/Instructional Continuity Plan in the Avery County School System that provides guidelines for accessing print or electronic instructional materials by any student who may be forced to quarantine. Regular classroom teachers continue to be responsible for providing this instructional support.

Burke County Schools 

The district said it is one-to-one with technology, and each student has his or her own device. They use Google Classroom and SeeSaw as learning management systems. Students use the programs during in-person learning and teachers are making sure they are familiar with the programs in the case of a quarantine. Should remote learning be necessary, the students will be prepared. Teachers also will work with parents on an individual basis and case-by-case basis. If the parent requests a paper packet instead of digital, they will accommodate the request. Rarely would they have students at home remote in virtually to a class that is seated for a variety of reasons, including privacy and classroom management. Once students who have to quarantine are back in the classroom, the teachers will work with them to get caught up if needed.

Catawba County Schools

Plans are in place for students to maintain a continuity of instruction in the event of quarantine or isolation. Teachers may utilize Google Meet for students to have access to live instruction if the material being taught is conducive. 

Cabarrus County Schools 

When a student is quarantined, parents should contact the school/teacher. CCS teachers will support students who are quarantined just as they have always supported students who may be absent for any reason.

Caldwell County Schools 

The district has instructed teachers to develop plans for students who are quarantined due to COVID. Quarantined students will not be participating in the online, virtual academy called Caldwell Online, due to the varying entry and exit points from any given quarantine status. However, teachers will communicate with students via online or other methods as is accommodating to the family (some families are without Internet) to ensure that if students are well and may proceed with school work, they may do assignments remotely from home, i.e., paper copies, online assignments, etc. district plans to continue academic rigor during quarantine status as much as possible.

Gaston County Schools 

When students are away from school because of quarantine, they will have coursework/assignments available in the Schoology or Canvas learning management system.

Iredell-Statesville Schools

The district will provide work and/or students can access assignments on either SeeSaw or Canvas. All students have technology access to do this.

Kannapolis City Schools 

KCS said it has plans in place for students who would be out of the classroom for extended periods of time, including paper assignment packets, assignments by email, and/or assignments posted on the various online learning platforms. If an entire class is quarantined, devices will be distributed to students as needed and synchronous remote learning will be offered.

Lincoln County Schools 

Lincoln County school district provided WCNC Charlotte with this response: 

Instruction shall be provided asynchronously using a weekly schedule, self-guided lessons, and assignments in the Learning Management System (LMS) Google Classroom or Canvas. All assignments shall be updated by the teacher of record for student access weekly using the LMS. For students in grades K-5, the principal at the school will designate instructional support staff to make direct contact with parents each week to support access to any learning activities and assignments. For students in grades 6-12, the principal at the school will designate a proportionate time of the planning period for each teacher to make direct contact with students/parents each week to support access to any learning activities and assignments. LCS is also utilizing the Lincoln County Public Library tutoring program Brainfuse for additional academic support. Brainfuse offers free online tutoring for Lincoln County students available daily from 2pm - 11pm. All students have access to the online program and can receive help from a live tutor. They are a one-to-one district when it comes to technology.

Mooresville Graded School District 

The district provided WCNC Charlotte with this response: 

K - 6: With the increase in student quarantines, guidelines for instruction have been set to ensure students receive instructional support while at home. 

In K-6 schools, teachers will send remote assignments to the student via Canvas, Google Slides, OR the parent/school can arrange for material/assignment pick up. The homeroom teacher from the school will check in on the student for at least 30 minutes, two times a week. This would be part of the assignments so that families would be aware of the help/support ahead of time. During the 30 minutes two times a week, teachers will be able to answer questions on asynchronous assignments and guide students as they solve problems. These sessions will occur either after school or during a teacher’s planning period depending on the day. It is also encouraged that the counselor or teacher assistant complete a weekly SEL check-in. For whole class quarantines, the class would move back to synchronous instruction with their teacher. Students will also have the opportunity to join a live enhancement in the morning or at the end of the day. The times and virtual meeting links will be shared with quarantined students and parents. Virtual enhancements are optional. 

7 - 12: Students in quarantine will find all lesson materials on Canvas, along with all information needed to complete each assignment. In addition, each student course in Math, Science, Social Studies, and English will provide three virtual sessions per week for students who need help working through their assignments or who have questions about the content. Elective and one-off courses will provide at least one virtual session per week plus student access to teachers via email. A schedule of virtual sessions has been posted on the school’s website, as well as sent home via school messaging. Virtual sessions will be conducted Monday - Thursdays, both during the day and after school, for scheduled 30-minute drop-in support sessions at designated times. Students can select any content session that fits their schedule, and it does not have to be their assigned teacher. Students are encouraged to reach out to their teachers by email if additional support is needed while in quarantine.

Newton-Conover City Schools 

The district will use learning management systems where teachers can post assignments for students to access at home. Grade 6-12 students have Chromebooks issued to them. Should a student below those grades need to be out, the district will issue them what they need to stay current. Not only will the students have contact with their teachers, but the district also has additional personnel to check in on these students. The district has the capability as well to issue mobile Internet access should that be an issue. 

Rowan-Salisbury Schools 

This is the response we received from the district: 

Staff will continue to provide support for students who may need to be quarantined during the school year. When students are quarantined, teachers are expected to provide school assignments. Teachers will initiate 2-way communication daily with students to ensure they are progressing on assigned work. RSS has been 1:1 with school-issued devices for almost ten years. 

Union County Public Schools

This is what the district provided our verify team: 

UCPS will offer a three-tiered support system for students who in quarantine. 

Tier I: Traditional school day/after-school support 

Tier II: After-school/weekend support 

Tier III: District tutors Once a student is identified for a quarantine setting, school staff will contact parents with options for support.

 Tier II and III teachers and tutors will be equipped to provide virtual content and specific support for all grade levels during designated times. Support includes phone calls, email check-ins, tutoring, individual/ small group instruction, and access to resources.

SOUTH CAROLINA SCHOOL DISTRICTS 

Chester County Schools 

Schools have been working with those students and providing work that best suits the student’s home situation, whether it be getting assignments online, utilizing Microsoft Teams, or having work sent home with them. Parents should contact their child’s teacher or school administration with any questions or concerns. 

Chesterfield County Schools 

According to the district, they will continue to work with students individually to ensure that their educational needs are being met. This will include allowing students to join their class virtually when the lesson lends itself to that.

Fort Mill School District

Here is the response from the district: 

We are implementing the fishbowl strategy that allows students to login to class remotely to hear the live instruction and we also have online materials and paper packets depending on the needs of the student and the class.

Lancaster County Schools 

Assignments will be loaded in Google Classroom and an expectation to use Google Meet as needed for instruction for quarantined students.

Rock Hill Schools

This is the response that was provided to us from the district: 

Quarantine: Teachers will engage students with remote learning when necessary due to the pandemic. Rock Hill Schools is working to ensure all students, in school and at home, can access uninterrupted instruction. If a student is usually in school but has been identified as having to stay at home due to the pandemic, we are making that student’s classes available via Zoom. We recognize Kindergarten and first graders are less independent and while we are making devices available to those students, we are also asking teachers to supplement them with instructional packets. Plans for remote Every child has the opportunity for remote participation and has access to lessons through their learning portals (platforms differ based on grade). We have distributed devices to most children and then prioritized this week’s distribution to students in need of remote instruction. Families needing a hotspot due to quarantine or isolation can get one from the district’s Technology Services team application available on our website: 

Additionally, teachers may supplement remote learning with printed instructional materials to meet the needs of that individual student. 

York County Schools 

When a student is quarantined, they are working with the household to provide a computing device as needed, as well as helping with internet connectivity if needed at the home. 

They are working with teachers to create a “fish bowl” opportunity where the student would be able to watch the live lesson from home, then follow up with the teacher with questions and support they may need. Work could be submitted via our learning management system, Canvas, if that connectivity is available at home. Where connectivity is not available, teachers will have paper packets available for students to work through content. Parents would pick up those materials from the school. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.