Cumberland County outlines school plans, enrollment options for students

Michael Lozano Image
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Cumberland town hall answers parents school questions`
Cumberland town hall answers parents school questions`

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cumberland County Schools held a Facebook Live town hall meeting to inform parents, students and faculty about the upcoming changes to the fall semester on Tuesday evening.

More than 2,000 people viewed the hour-long town hall, getting some insight into what the new school year will look like under Gov. Roy Cooper's Tuesday afternoon announcement.

School administration, including Superintendent Marvin Connelly, shared the three options on the table for parents and students:

1) A mix of traditional face-to-face with some rotational online learning

2) Full-time online learning

3) Enrolling in the Cumberland Academy

"This is the best way we can keep everyone safe in these uncertain times," Connelly said.

The school district announced that families have until July 19 to enroll in one of those options on their reentry website.

Several CCS departments spoke on their approach, including Health Services Director Shirley Bolden. Bolden said students who attend physical classrooms will need to bring a parent-signed paper that states they have no symptoms.

In addition, Bolden said students will be screened before entering their designated school facility and be provided with five reusable masks.

One question Bolden addressed was the procedure if a student or faculty member tested positive for COVID-19.

Bolden responded by saying they would send that individual home to work virtually and inform anyone who may have been in contact with that person.

Another question was related to a parent's ability to enroll their children into different options. School district officials confirmed that a parent could pick an enrollment that best fits each child, not leaving you restricted to just one choice.

The district also announced it would provide every K-12 student with the needed devices for schoolwork, homework and other school-related activities.

Connelly also encouraged parents, who are thinking about homeschooling to consider enrolling in the Cumberland Academy, which would require them to commit to at least a semester.

Joe Desormeaux, Associate Superintendent of Auxiliary Services, gave an update on how they're addressing operations.

"Students participating in remote instruction will be able to pick up meals at designated times and locations throughout the district. We will expand the curbside service as far as our resources will go," Desormeaux said.

Auxiliary Services will also implement hand-sanitizer stations at the front of each building and in each classroom, separating desks and adding flow traffic arrows.

"The new guidance does focus on increasing the frequency of cleaning surfaces that tend to be touched by multiple people," Desormeaux added.

Though masks are mandatory for students, there will be exceptions for medical or developmental reasons. The district did not expand on what would happen if a student refused to wear a mask.