Update on school closure and instruction

LENOIR, NC (March 19, 2020) — As directed by Gov. Roy Cooper, public schools are closed to students to slow the spread of COVID-19, but teachers have placed their student’s welfare as their primary goal by contacting each student through phone calls to identify any family needs and to determine which students may have the capacity to participate in virtual instructional activities if necessary. The first week of school closure has been used primarily for reaching out to families, providing basic needs, such as meals, and planning for delivery of instruction to students. 

Superintendent Dr. Donald Phipps said, “I have been heartened by the response from our faculty and staff about the changes we have had to make to help ensure the welfare of our students and their families and the forward-thinking approach that has been evident as we have planned for a prolonged distance learning model.”

As originally scheduled, the 3rd 9-week grading period ends on March 20. Schools have made special provisions for students to complete any unfinished assignments on a case-by-case basis. Schools will also determine the safest and best method to distribute report cards.

“We are using this first week of closure to complete the nine-week grading period and to make preparations for meaningful, instructional activities that will begin next week,” said Leigh Anne Frye, Educational Program Services High School Director.

Tuesday, Mar. 24 is a districtwide day for parents and/or students who prefer paper copies or do not have connectivity or access to an electronic device for online instruction to pick up packets of student assignments. This day also coincides with the scheduled food delivery day and drive-thru distribution for free meals from 11 am -1 pm and 4 pm -6 pm at Hudson Elementary, Gamewell Elementary, Granite Falls Elementary, and Valmead Elementary.

“In case there is school closure beyond Mar. 30,” said Frye. “The district has begun providing training for teachers on a remote learning plan that uses recommended online delivery platforms from the novice to the experienced user.”

For high school students that are enrolled in college courses referred to as Career and College Promise (CCP) classes, these classes will resume on Monday, Mar. 23 in an online setting. Students enrolled in these classes should check their Caldwell Community College account for more details or if enrolled in one of these classes in a traditional high school setting, students contact the teacher of record for that course.

During this transition to provide instruction through online/remote options, the school district encourages parents to contact their child’s administrative office to ensure that all contact information is accurate and up-to-date. Beginning tomorrow, Mar. 20, visitors will be restricted from school campuses and educational sites unless it is an urgent matter or students/parents have been asked to pick up student assignments.

“I am grateful to our faculty who are working diligently to shift their instruction to remote delivery and are utilizing online resources to provide an enriching and meaningful instruction for their students. We are making every effort to adjust to this unexpected interruption in our lives, but we will continue to strengthen our relationship with families and provide for their needs and their educational growth,” said Phipps.