This year the coronavirus pandemic has changed how students are learning. In March 2020, there was an announcement made that students, teachers and all of the school staff members must stay at home in order to stay safe. The Johnston County Board of Education initially stated that everyone would be back by March 30. The coronavirus cases started to spark and the board made the decision that students and all staff members would be back by May 15, 2020. In April of 2020, the announcement was made that students would continue to do online learning for the rest of the school year. Students and teachers finished off the school year at home while doing online learning that had started overnight.
On August 17, 2020, Johnston County Public Schools began online learning for the fall semester. Students have been learning completely online since the beginning of this semester, and teachers are only partly in the school building.
Reopening plans for in person learning are underway. On September 8, the Johnston County Board of Education voted to reopen schools. Preschool and K-12 self-contained EC classes will open on Monday September 28. These students will go to school Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Buildings will be closed on Wednesdays for “deep cleaning.”
Elementary school students will go back to school, but at a different time. Kindergarteners will go October 12, and these students will be split up into two groups. The first group will go on Mondays and Tuesdays, while the second group will go on Thursdays and Fridays, and all students will be doing remote learning on Wednesdays. Starting October 19, the first through fifth grade student will go back using the same daily schedule.
No decision has been made for when grades 6-12 will be back in school since the plan for these grades is still in the planning phase. Once the information has been approved by the board, an announcement will be made.
March 13, 2020, was the last day students were in school, and for some it will continue to stay that way. For now, most schools are planning on opening up in some form before the end of 2020, but not all know when.
Editor’s note: On Thursday, NC Governor Roy Cooper announced that all NC elementary schools may fully reopen for five day per week in-person instruction on October 5. Under the governor’s order, each school district will make the decision as to how their students in grades K-5 can return to school. All students and staff must wear masks throughout the day, and they must practice good hygiene. Social distancing is “highly recommended.”