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Northampton’s back-to-school plan requires facemasks for students/staff

JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Education unanimously approved a plan for reopening schools at their regular meeting here on Aug. 9.

The recommendation, made by Superintendent Dr. Pamela Chamblee, will bring students back for full-time in-person learning when the new school year starts. Additionally, the district will still offer its virtual school option, which is open for students who have demonstrated the ability to handle learning in a virtual environment and have also maintained a grade of C or better in all subjects.

The Board also unanimously approved a mask requirement for students and staff this year. Dr. Chamblee noted that masks had been required when everyone returned to the classroom last year, and the policy will be enforced as usual again this year.

Dr. Chamblee also provided more details about the district’s back-to-school procedures to the News Herald.

“Safety measures remain the same with daily temperature checks, social distancing, mask wearing, disinfecting the classrooms and buildings,” she explained. “Additionally, parents, students, and staff can expect to see touchless faucets, toilets, and water fountains.”

The district has also expended funds to make sure students will all have their own individual supply kits, so that they will not share tools or supplies.

“Our buildings have signage to ensure proper distancing and allowable practices under the circumstances,” Dr. Chamblee added.

The district’s safety measures were based on guidance and recommendations from the Northampton County Health Department, the Center for Disease Control, and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are excited about the new year and enthusiastic about being better prepared to teach through a pandemic and recover from delayed learning,” Dr. Chamblee continued. “We encourage everyone to follow to safety measures that are in place so that we may have the best opportunity to eradicate COVID-19 and the Delta variant.”

“Our optimism remains favorable for an awesome school year and for teaching and learning at high levels. We look forward to seeing all of our students and working with each student to meet their needs,” she concluded.

The first day of school for Northampton County High School and Early College students was Monday, Aug. 16. For all other schools in the district, students will return to start the 2021-22 school year on Monday, Aug. 23.