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'Return to Learn' Update #6 (Revised)
'Return to Learn' Update #6 (Revised)
Posted on 09/17/2020
The Board of Education approved an updated Return to Learn plan at their Sept. 10 and 16 meetings.A translation is available in Spanish.

BCS Communications

This update was revised following the Special Called meeting of the Board of Education on Sept. 16.  After some discussion regarding students in grades 9-12 and Buncombe Co. Early College, the board voted that these students will remain remote through December. We will follow up with High School families with further information regarding the class change schedule during this timeframe. Please see an important message from Madam Chair Ann B. Franklin at the end of this update.

Per the Sept. 10 Board of Education Decision:
K-8 students will return to the classroom for in-person learning on an A/B Rotation on September 28 through the end of the semester.

*This Return to Learn Plan does NOT apply to families who have already committed to our remote-only option for the remainder of the semester.

Please note, this A/B rotation schedule will be slightly different from our onboarding schedule, but students who were designated A students during the onboarding weeks will remain A students, and B students will remain B students.

K-8 students in Group A will attend class on Monday and Tuesday. Thursday and Friday will be remote learning days.

K-8 students in Group B will attend class on Thursday and Friday. Monday and Tuesday will be remote learning days.

Wednesday will be a remote learning day for everyone.

*Please call your school if you are unsure which group you are in.

Classes start at 8 am and each day will be a 1-hour early dismissal.

We are currently working on curriculum guidance for teachers and families and will also be sharing more information about scheduling and other important details!


In closing the Sept. 16 Special Called Board of Education meeting, Board Chair Ann Franklin shared this important message to board members and our school community this evening:

We would like to begin this meeting by acknowledging how difficult the last few weeks have been for our staff and families. I want to thank everyone for being here tonight.

I want to speak a little about why we are meeting tonight and how we move forward.

Ms. Cindy McMahon asked to meet with me on Monday and she inquired about holding another meeting to reconsider the reentry plan for our high school students. Under Board policy, four members of the board may call for a special called meeting. There were four members who wanted to come back together to reconsider the plan, including myself. We should note that it is not a regular occurrence for this Board to call a meeting to reconsider an item of business, but these are not regular times.

I know we spent a lot of time the other night discussing this topic, but I also know there was some confusion with the procedural issues. I want to make sure everyone has had their say and is comfortable with the outcome of their vote.

There are a lot of competing interests here to consider:
• the safety of our students;
• the academic, social, and emotional well-being of our students;
• the safety of our staff and their families;
• and the stress that this has placed on many of the families of our students.

There is no right answer and there may not even be a best answer.

Some of you may be upset about having another meeting, but I ask that all of us consider these competing interests and we do so from a mindset about what is the most positive outcome for all of those we serve. I ask that we debate this in a thoughtful way. This board has worked well together, and while there is nothing wrong with disagreement, I don’t want this to divide us personally. Regardless of your opinion on this subject, I do not doubt anyone’s motives. I know each of you wants what is best for our students, their families, and our staff and their families.

As we continue to make decisions about this delicate process of educating our students in the midst of a global pandemic, we have received countless phone calls and emails from parents, staff, and members of the community. We heard public comments at the last two regular board meetings. I want to assure the community that we are listening to you.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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