June 30, 2020
First, no matter what plan is ultimately chosen by the Governor tomorrow, Alamance Community School will offer a remote/virtual option for families who are not comfortable sending their children back to school in the fall.
Today, after reading several comments on the Family Survey about possible homeschooling, I decided it was important to address the benefits of enrolling at Alamance Community School and choosing a remote/virtual option versus homeschooling which is regulated by the NC Division of Non-Public Education and monitors all homeschools in North Carolina.
1. The compulsory attendance law will be in effect this year whether schools are operating under Plan A, B, or C.
2. There are steps and requirements involved to register with the state as a homeschool and to homeschool your children. However, if you feel homeschooling is the best option for your family, you can contact the NC Division of Non-Public Education.
3. If a family chooses Plan C, all remote/virtual instruction provided by ACS, the student must be registered at our school. If a family chooses to "home school’, the student cannot also be enrolled at ACS.
For families that are concerned about their children's safety, they can choose to enroll at ACS and choose for their child to receive only remote/virtual learning. This provides families the benefit of our virtual learning and teaching, in addition to the social-emotional benefit of connecting with classmates for virtual morning meetings, virtual specials, etc. In addition to ACS doing the “heavy lifting” with virtual instruction, by enrolling at ACS, you will not lose your spot.
I anticipate that on July 1, the Governor will announce that schools will open with Plan B - a hybrid of virtual and in person with half of the students coming on certain days. Of course, some families may choose all virtual instruction. Yesterday, I had a lengthy, but fantastic meeting with our Remote/Virtual Learning & School Entry Team. We are developing some innovative and exciting ways that we will connect virtually with our students.
I sent a survey to our staff to determine staff needs, concerns, strengths, etc. The majority of our staff feel safe returning to the classroom with the safety measures we are planning to implement. All of the ACS staff have expressed that they are excited and want to teach your children! Depending upon how many families choose 100% remote/virtual instruction, we are discussing the possibility of having a dedicated teacher (or teachers) that would provide the virtual instruction and lessons, but we would also ensure the student is included in virtual whole group class meetings, specials, and activities. A form will be sent later in July to registered families and families that are in the registration process to determine how many plan to choose the remote/virtual learning option for their children.
Our top priority is keeping our students and staff safe while providing high quality instruction. At the end of the day, families must do what they feel is best for their children. However, I truly hope you choose to enroll your student and become a part of our ACS community regardless of what plan the Governor chooses!
“ACS - providing teaching and social-emotional support to families that choose an all remote learning platform!”
Leslie Paynter, M.Ed.
Alamance Community School