August 3, 2020
Dear Scotland County Schools Parents and Guardians,
First, let me thank you for your support and understanding as we as a nation and community, have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic since March. I am very proud of the way our SCS students, parents, employees, and community leaders handled the demands we were faced with to protect everyone, as we continued to educate and feed our students during the most unusual of circumstances.
On July 14, Governor Roy Cooper unveiled his health and safety plans for K-12 public schools for the new school year. He announced that schools will open for in-person instruction under an updated Plan B that requires face coverings for all K-12 students, fewer children in the classroom, measures to ensure social distancing for everyone in the building, and other safety protocols. However, he also stated that districts may choose to operate under Plan C, which allows for remote learning only. At the July 13 regular meeting of the Board of Education, it was decided that for Scotland County Schools, we would follow Plan C, full-remote learning, for at least the first nine weeks of school. While we understand that this decision is not one that everyone will agree with, please know that it was made, as always, with the health and safety of our students and staff in mind.
As you know, from mid-March until the end of the school year, we delivered instruction remotely as well as through instructional packets. I applaud our staff, our students, and our parents and guardians for their commitment to ensuring that students maintained contact with their teachers and completed their assignments during this time. As we enter into a new school year that will be starting with remote learning, I am now asking you for a new level of commitment to your child’s education. In short, the expectations for staff and students have increased and for remote learning to be successful, for your child to be successful, our partnership in education must be stronger than ever.
Unlike during the time of remote learning at the end of last year, attendance will be taken. Your student will be held accountable for signing into their virtual classes and completing assignments in a timely manner. Traditional grades will be given on assignments and on report cards. They will not receive credit if they only complete some of the work assigned. The work that a student does or does not do will determine their final grade in the class and will determine if they are promoted to the next grade. For our high school students, please keep in mind that these grades will impact their final transcripts and will have an impact on college acceptance as well as future employment opportunities.
One of the most important ways for remote learning to be successful is if we continue to maintain strong lines of communication. You can help do this by making sure that your child’s school and teacher have the most updated contact information (phone, email address, home address), and if it changes, that you notify the school and their teachers immediately. We commit to you that our administration and staff will remain accessible as well.
We also want you to ask questions. This is a ‘new normal’ for us all. The information that we receive from local and state officials that helps guide us in making decisions about our schools is constantly changing. We will notify you of any changes or updates that are made, but if you have questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher, school principal staff member, or any member of our district-level staff for answers and for help.
Over the next week, you will be hearing more from your child’s school with specific details about the upcoming school year such as when and where to pick up your child’s device, open house dates and times, class schedules, when and how they can meet their teachers, and how student meals will be distributed during this time of remote learning. Please make sure that you are listening to the phone messages that are sent by the school and district and checking the website and social media pages regularly for updates. There is also a tab on the district website’s main page that includes information about the start of the 2020-21 school year.
The world is a dramatically different place than it was just a few months ago. I want to thank all of you for your partnership, patience, and support as we navigate the new uncharted territory of this COVID-19 pandemic crisis. I have so much confidence in and admiration for our employees. I am in awe of the resilience of our students and the strength and resolve of people and families in our community and I am confident that we will get through this together.
Stay safe and stay healthy.
Dr. Ron Hargrave, Superintendent
Scotland County Schools
You can also CLICK HERE to view a video message that is being shared with parents, guardians, and students about remote learning expectations.