As we enter May, the last full month of the 2020-21 school year, we have had a lot of conversations with students, staff, parents, and community members about traditional end-of-year events.  After students returned in-person last fall, state rules significantly limited visitors to schools and spectators at school events.  Parents and other visitors were limited to individuals or very small groups.

Then the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), with the support of the Governor and other state officials, allowed a limited number of spectators to attend athletic events only.  The initial number was 7% of the spectator seating capacity of the particular venue.  In February, after the winter surge, the NCHSAA and other state officials increased spectators at athletic events to 30%.  Currently, the state authorized spectator capacity is 50% for spectators at athletic events.  These athletic rules are the most generous spectator rules provided by the state for public schools.

At a Special Called Board of Education Meeting on Monday, May 3rd, the Board authorized the superintendent to use athletic spectator rules for non-athletic, end-of-year, programs, and ceremonies.  This allows end-of-year programs and ceremonies to have spectators up to 50% of the venues’ capacity.  Spectator capacity examples include, but are not limited to:  high school stadiums – 3,500 spectators, high school gymnasiums – 463 spectators, and high school auditoriums – 250 spectators.  Masks are still required inside school facilities.  Mask are encouraged but not required in outdoor venues.

“I want to thank students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members for their feedback on this issue,” said Superintendent, Dr. Bill Nolte.  “Throughout COVID-19, we have been faced with many challenges and perplexing state regulations.  I’m proud of our Board, staff, parents, and community for focusing on our students and consistently finding a logical path forward.”

Contact:          Dr. Bill Nolte, Superintendent