Asheville City Schools Releases Several Return-to-School Scenarios

An empty school bus in front of a school.

Asheville City Schools has released two plans for a potential in-person return to school as well as one plan for an extended pause on all in-person instruction.

Dr. Gene of Asheville City Schools provided the following statement on the tentative plans:

As you may know, Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will determine how our schools can safely reopen on or before next Wednesday, July 1. Like school districts across North Carolina, Asheville City Schools is closely monitoring our state and county’s COVID-19 metrics and is anxiously awaiting further guidance as to what this fall may look like. 

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At this time, Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services have released interim guidance, which includes three plans. Based on state and regional COVID-19 metrics, they will recommend which plan Asheville City Schools should utilize. 

  • Plan A is the least restrictive reopening model and requires minimal social distancing. It most closely resembles a traditional start to school. 
  • Plan B adds additional restrictions for social distancing and explains that no more than half a school’s student body can report on any given day. On the days that a student did not report to school, they would utilize remote learning.  
  • Plan C suspends all in-person instruction, meaning our district would continue to utilize remote learning for all students. As coronavirus numbers continue to increase across the state, we cannot downplay the possibility of having a complete virtual model. 

Although we still have another week before the governor finalizes his recommendations, I wanted to keep you as informed as possible and let you know the scenarios our Reopening Task Force are currently working through.  

Please know that these scenarios were created based on the feedback of the more than 700 families who completed our latest at-home learning survey. Thank you for your invaluable feedback!  

Additionally, these plans are contingent upon input from the Asheville City Board of Education who is meeting on Tuesday, June 30. 

Additionally, please know that I hear and understand that many of our families are concerned about an in-person return to school with so many unknowns about COVID-19. Therefore, should Governor Cooper decide our district should utilize Plan A or Plan B, I am committed to offering a virtual option for any student who wishes to complete all their assignments from home. As you begin to decide what is best for your child and family, please know that should he select Plan A or Plan B, our principals will be sending more information and a survey asking how your child will complete instruction this fall. 

I fully understand that no plan is perfect; however, I can tell you that my number one priority is keeping our students and staff members safe. My second is redesigning our current structures for teaching, learning and operations. Hearing your feedback, please know that the Reopening Task Force is creating consistent expectations across our schools to ensure our return will be as smooth as possible, regardless of which plan is selected.  

Have a wonderful evening, and thank you for your continued support of Asheville City Schools.