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Remote learning remains for Hertford County students

WINTON – For the time being, students enrolled in Hertford County Public Schools will remain on a remote learning plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As scheduled, the Hertford County Board of Education met Monday (Sept. 28) where a portion of the agenda was dedicated to discussing Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement on Sept. 17 that gave public school systems across the state the option of allowing K-5 students back in the classroom for face-to-face instruction.

Cooper said at that time that after several weeks of stable COVID-19 trends and continued low virus spread in school settings, public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5) effective Oct. 5.

Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening, but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom.

All public schools in the Roanoke-Chowan area, as did many across the state, are currently operating under Plan C (remote learning).

“Our board of education was given information at the meeting on Monday from the staff at Albemarle Regional Health Services,” HCPS Superintendent Dr. William T. Wright Jr. told the RC News-Herald on Tuesday morning.

“They received information from Ms. Ashley Stoop of Albemarle Regional Health Services and asked clarification questions that specifically related to COVID-19 trends in Hertford County as well as our region,” Dr. Wright continued. “The board then requested another meeting to discuss further next steps. That meeting will be held on Oct. 12.”

Following Monday’s meeting, the school system sent out a “phone blast” to parents/guardians of HCPS students advising them of the plan for the immediate future.

“We informed the community that we would be continuing with Plan C as of now,” Dr. Wright said.

In an interview with this newspaper following the governor’s announcement, Wright said he was apprehensive about returning to Plan A. His concerns were based on Hertford County’s rising numbers of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of Friday of last week, Albemarle Regional Health Services reported 744 cases (61 action) and 31 deaths. The latter number is the highest in the northeastern part of the state.

In late August, the county had 437 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths.

“Our whole thing is safety first and I have some concerns about returning to face to face instruction,” Wright told the News-Herald for a front page story published Sept. 19.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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