The Burke County Board of Education decided by a 4-3 vote at its meeting on Monday (December 14) that all Burke County Public Schools will enter into Plan C, which is all remote learning, effective January 4, 2021, through at least until January 25, 2021.
The decision was made after several COVID-19 cases were reported at North Liberty School, forcing a transition to Plan C there. The number of positive coronavirus cases at the school led to a staffing shortage as well as several classrooms being quarantined. Icard and Hildebran Elementary Schools recently transitioned to remote learning as a result of COVID-19 cases.
The Burke County Public Schools are currently on an alternating schedule, in which students are only on school campuses for two days a week. Following this week, students will be on winter break. When classes resume, all Burke County Public Schools will be under remote learning.
The decision was made after three citizens spoke to the board. One of the speakers urged the board to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) new reduced quarantine, which went from 14 days to ten days. Another speaker, a healthcare worker, questioned why the schools were looking at Plan C for COVID-19 when similar measures were never taken for the flu. She urged board members to keep schools open. The third speaker suggested an extended Christmas break for students and school workers.
The Child Nutrition Department is expected to provide meals for students during the remote learning period. They also asked North Liberty families hoping to receive meals during remote learning to contact the Child Nutrition Department at 828-439-4318.