Classes tentatively scheduled to resume on Aug. 17

By Charles Wood Staff Writer

			
				                                McLean

McLean

WADESBORO — The COVID-19 pandemic forced Anson County Schools to rethink how to go about educating their students.

With classes set to resume on Aug. 17, Superintendent Howard McLean has a whole new set of problems to navigate in order to make sure his staff and students remain as safe as possible.

“The Anson County School District plans to comply with all local, state, and federal guidelines for opening our district schools on August 17, 2020,” said McLean. “We are still waiting on guidance from Governor Cooper to give us more direction on the three proposed scenarios.”

Cooper was set to give that guidance on Tiesday afternoon, several hours after this newspaper’s deadline.

Plan A is the least restrictive of the proposed plans for school reopenings and will be implemented if COVID-19 metrics stabilize or move in a positive direction. If COVID-19 metrics worsen, Plan B, which includes more restrictions for social distancing and reduced density, will be implemented. If COVID-19 metrics worsen significantly, then in-person instruction will be suspended in favor of remote learning.

If the schools decide to go with plans A or B, “We will have all CDC recommendations and guidelines in place to ensure staff and student safety,” said McLean. Examples of these guidelines will include directional traffic, the installation of sanitation stations, wearing of protective equipment, encouraged hand washing, thermometers on location, masks for all students when appropriate, and required 6-feet social distancing.

Sports are another concern when it comes to re-opening the schools.

“Fall summer sports workouts will be suspended indefinitely effective July 10,” said McLean. “We will revisit this matter in a few weeks as we receive more COVID-19 data. All athletes are encouraged to continue working out from home and working with their coaches via zoom. Also, other area county schools (including Richmond, Montgomery and Stanly) have suspended summer workouts as well. We feel that this decision is the best safety precautions to protect our athletes.”

McLean and the Anson County Board of Direction distributed Parent Surveys through their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages in order to receive input on how they would like the schools to reopen. Parents who haven’t completed and returned a survey will be contacted by a school official in order to obtain their input. Faculty and staff will also be surveyed in reference to COVID-19.

To keep students engaged until when and if school reopens for in-person instruction, Anson County Schools have implemented virtual Summer Camp Kits.

“The idea to create the Virtual Summer Camp Kits stemmed from the fact that no summer camps were going to be held due to the pandemic,” said McLean. “Mrs. Wendy Efird, director of the Wadesboro Rotary Planetarium and Science Center, along with Mrs. Lori Ingram, director of the Summer of Surprises Program wanted to still be able to reach the students in the community.”

“The kits were developed based on priority standards of science instruction,” McLean added. “Anson County teachers were contacted in regards to the areas of science where weaknesses had been noted, which helped derive the basis for the activities at each grade level. Kits were developed for each grade level, K-5 These kits are available to be picked up the Central Office.”

Reach Charles Wood at cwood@ansonrecord.com or 704 994 5471