Durham schools pass Plan B, allowing parents to opt for in-person or virtual learning next semester

Posted November 19, 2020 11:18 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2020 11:40 p.m. EST

— On Thursday the Durham Public School Board of Education voted 4-3 in favor of the possible return of elementary students to in-person learning as part of the district's Plan B recommendation for the remainder of the school year.

Next semester, in-person learning could become an option for parents, but only if COVID-19 cases remain below 4 percent for two weeks.

The board amended the plan requiring them to revisit the plan moving forward on December 10 and January 7 to evaluate COVID-19 data.

This plan allows the possible return of pre-K through fifth-grade students in January 2021 through a hybrid model, along with the continuation of virtual learning.

"Cohort A will attend Mondays and Tuesdays and Cohort B will attend Thursdays and Fridays," said officials in a statement.

The plan allows families to choose whether in-person learning or remote learning is right for their children.

Durham schools have also developed a dashboard, where families and staff can find important information and COVID-19 updates.

Plan B has several key components for safety during in-person learning, including:

  • Face coverings are required while on campus and school buses
  • Signs will offer reminders to wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distance
  • Directional signage will help avoid cluttered hallways.
  • Schools have designated classrooms for 'Exceptional Children' that will be equipped with PPE and HEPA filtration systems
  • Touchless thermometers will be used to check staff and student’s temperature
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be set up for use in various areas of our schools
  • Training for staff on the proper use of PPE, handwashing, disinfecting, and social distancing will occur before the return of in-person learning.
  • Schools/facilities will be frequently cleaned and disinfected
  • Outdoor air intakes have been increased and schools will be using MERV-13 air filters that capture airborne viruses and bacteria from coughs and sneezes.

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