The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education is requiring public school systems to publicly post a Return to Learn Plan on their websites. As many of our citizens know, Haywood County Schools has had in-person learning for some time. This began with special populations in the summer of 2020 and expanded to interested students and parents in the fall. During the summer of 2020, we offered in-person “Jumpstart” to a number of at-risk elementary students to help them get back on track. We also opened several Pre-Kindergarten sites for in-person learning and conducted summer athletic workouts in-person.

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, we worked to provide transparency in the school community and to maintain low transmission rates. This included, but was not limited to, the use of the following:

  • Symptom screening, including temperature checks and related questions
  • Masks and other approved face-coverings
  • Serving in-person students in cohort groups
  • Improved ventilation
  • Contract tracing by our public health school nurses
  • Listing positive cases for students and staff on a COVID Dashboard on the school system website
  • Assisting public health in notification and registration of staff members who desired the COVID-19 vaccination

On September 28, 2020, middle school and high school students (grades 6-12) began in-person learning five days per week on an A Week – B Week rotation. On October 5, 2020, elementary students (grades Kindergarten – 5) began in-person learning five days per week. Approximately seventy-five percent of our students participated in these in-person learning options as allowed by the state.

On March 23, 2021, middle school and high school students (grades 6 -12) began in-person learning five days per week. This option was made available shortly after it was authorized by the state. Approximately eighty percent of the students in Haywood County Schools have selected in-person option at this time.

We will focus on prevention and mitigation moving forward to keep students, staff, and families healthy while working to avoid future shutdowns to in-person learning. This will include, but is not limited to:

  • Summer learning opportunities for students who have fallen behind academically
  • Additional mental health supports
  • Additional supports for special student populations
  • Improved ventilation equipment
  • Additional remediation services for students during the 2021-22 school year.

June 9 through August 5, Haywood County Schools, to mitigate learning loss as a result of COVID-19, will offer in-person summer learning opportunities Kindergarten through twelfth grade. This in-person learning will be from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at selected school locations. The locations will be selected in order to serve students from all schools in the system. Summer learning opportunities will be open the week of July 4th except for Monday, July 5th. Summer learning will take place over a period of nine-weeks. Identified students are encouraged to attend. Students and parents may flex attendance to accommodate for vacation and other important family plans.

The plan for the 2021-22 school year is to provide all in-person learning. This is subject to state and federal regulations and legislation.

Contact: Dr. Bill Nolte, Superintendent