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Halifax County trustees resume talks on school reopening / July 30, 2020

The Halifax County School Board will meet today in a called work session to continue preparations for the start of a new school year Sept. 8.

After originally planning to convene at the high school cafeteria, school officials announced Wednesday that the location has been changed to the middle school cafeteria. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

While final decisions on the school year are expected to come at the School Board’s next regular monthly meeting on Aug. 10, trustees set the work session at their July meeting after running up against a complex set of issues with the resumption of school amid the COVID-19 health crisis. At the July meeting, trustees took one action — moving the start of school back to Sept. 8 — and set work session to carve out more time to discuss other issues.

Central Office administrators have developed a hybrid plan for the new school year that gives families the option of keeping their students at home for full online instruction. Or families can send their students to school two days a week, with virtual learning at home the other three days of the week.

The plan further calls for the youngest students in elementary school and special education learners to attend class four days a week. Other proposed features, such as sending seniors to the STEM Center for “Senior Academy,” have been floated by the administration but have not been formally approved by the School Board.

Resolving the range of questions that have arisen with that proposal — everything from transportation to student health checks to staff safety — is a job that remains ahead for trustees.

The meeting at the HCMS cafeteria is open to the public, but no public comment period is planned. The work session will be streamed on Facebook Live.

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