On July 14, NC Governor Roy Cooper announced the decision that all public schools in North Carolina will return to school with moderate social distancing under “Plan B” of the State’s plan to re-open schools.
Here is MCA’s response to that decision, updated July 31, 2020
Dear MCA Families,
The governor has determined that North Carolina public schools will open under Plan B, which has a balance of in-person and remote learning. We fully intend to maintain our quality and continuity of instruction, dedicated to the classical liberal arts—developing intelligent, virtuous citizens, who lead in a constitutional republic and who pursue truth, goodness, and beauty; so, here’s our plan for making Plan B work well for you.
Health and Safety
We will screen every individual who gets on a bus or comes into the building and then follow the state-established protocol found in the attachment entitled “Screening Flow Chart.” If a child or faculty member gets sick during the day, we will also follow the state’s prescribed procedures, which is entitled “Staff Roles Flow Chart” in the same attachment.
Our teachers and students will wear face coverings. The State of NC is providing five reusable face coverings for each student and staff member. For those teachers, such as our speech therapist, who need students to hear their voices distinctly and see their mouths clearly, we will have partially clear face coverings and/or Plexiglas dividers. We will also have Plexiglas dividers for our office receptionists and for those parents picking up from Lion’s Watch. We will have COVID-19 related hygiene lessons for our students, floor stickers in common areas reminding folks of the six-foot physical distancing, signs at our main entrances, signs throughout the facility reminding us how to stay healthy. We will periodically infuse our facility with fresh air. We will also sanitize classrooms and other areas frequently.
To further avoid transmission of the virus, we will limit movement. Students will walk a certain direction in the hallways (basically keeping to the right), eat in their classrooms, use restrooms no more than two at a time, and not share school supplies. Upper school students will carry their materials in their book bags rather than going to their lockers between classes. Specialists in K-5 will deliver instruction while students remain in their own classrooms or for those in remote learning at home.
In-School Academic Instruction
Students in grades K-5 will attend school daily, Monday through Friday. Using various locations in wings 1, 2, and 3, the classes will be divided into smaller groups of approximately 14-16 students all properly socially distanced. With teaching assistants helping to deliver instruction, the teacher will plan all lessons and direct all instruction for her students to insure quality and progress.
Students in grades 6-12 attend school daily, Monday through Thursday, and Friday will be a remote learning day for all. Since all classes will be live streamed, those students at home attend their classes live via the Internet. This class instruction will also be recorded so that a student at home may view the lesson at a later time if need be. This will allow for academic instruction to proceed from day to day without delay. On Fridays when a student is at home learning, he/she signs in and submits work via the learning management system, which will be explained when the first day of school draws nearer.
Remote Academic Instruction
For K-5 expect live, daily instruction, including assignments, as the cornerstone of our remote education program. These daily lessons will be recorded and archived in case a student is unavailable at the time they are broadcast. Students sign-in daily and submit their work via the learning management system, which will be explained more fully as the first day of school draws near. Also, parents and students can schedule face-to-face, virtual meetings with their teacher during posted office time. Teachers will update grades biweekly, provide personal feedback, and respond to online questions within twenty-four hours.
For 6-12 students expect classes to be streamed each day live according to the regular school schedule. Daily class work and homework will also be assigned as usual. Live sessions will also be available for viewing at a later time; however, please note that each day’s instruction will build on the previous day’s lesson so that students will receive a full year of instruction.
Parents and students can schedule face-to-face, virtual meetings with their teachers during the teacher’s three hours of posted office time, at least one of which is on Fridays. Students submit assignments via the online learning management system explained as school begins.
Each lesson will have a learning goal, clear expectations, and a reminder of the overarching, guiding question, that is, the “big” question, such as What does it mean to be human? or What is home?
Teachers will update grades biweekly, provide personal feedback, and respond to online questions within twenty-four hours. Students sign-in daily and submit their work via the learning management system, which will be explained when the first day of school draws nearer.
For All MCA Families
Expect more details as we move closer to the start of school. Of course, we will be flexible should unforeseen situations arise. Also, if you have not already, it is very important that you let us know whether you prefer in-school instruction or remote learning by completing the form found here.
Regardless of the format, in-school education or remote learning, the entire faculty and staff are dedicated to providing you an education that fosters thinking, writing, and speaking well, and one that cultivates the very best nature of your child. To that end, our teachers and administrators will collaborate weekly to assess delivery, student response, curriculum, and progress, making adjustments as warranted so that we can best ensure the quality and continuity of instruction… and in the end, young people with a solid foundation for all of life.
Kirby R. McCrary, Headmaster