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Alamance-Burlington school board votes to begin school year with remote learning

Alamance-Burlington Schools has changed its initial back to school plan. Here's what it means for students.

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — The Alamance-Burlington School System has changed its back to school plan. ABSS will begin its school year with remote learning.

The Alamance-Burlington school board approved the proposal 6-1 Thursday morning. Only Pamela Thompson dissented, expressing her feelings about the critical importance of having students in school.

ABSS schools will now follow a back-to-school plan under the guidelines of Gov. Roy Cooper's 'Plan C,' which features remote learning. Schools will begin the year with nine weeks of remote learning. Traditional schools' remote learning period will be between August 17 and October 23, while ABEC schools' remote learning period will be between August 5 and October 8. 

RELATED: Back-to-School Blog | Alamance-Burlington school board votes for remote learning

After the first nine weeks, ABSS plans to move to blended learning (Plan B) by the end of the first marking period. Education officials said they will be monitoring key health metrics to better inform their decision-making process leading up to the self-imposed deadline.

The school board expects updated guidance on school reopening from the CDC by the end of the month.

In the new plan, schools will be contacting families to let them know how they can pick up and access needed technology items (Chromebooks, hotspots) at schools before classes begin. This distribution will be based on survey results provided by parents about the need and will follow appropriate NCDHHS social distancing protocols.

All elementary teachers will be using Google Classroom for their online learning platform. All middle and high school teachers will be utilizing Canvas for online learning.

Additionally, under the remote learning plan, athletics and extracurriculars are delayed until further notice.

The new plan, brought forth by superintendent Dr. Bruce Benson, is a sharp change from the plan initially approved last week for ABSS schools. The old plan had half of students attending class at their school on Monday and Wednesday and on alternating Fridays. The second half of the students would attend class at their school on Tuesday and Thursday and alternating Fridays.

The change comes after ABSS said an initial survey of parents found a split between how to return to school.

RELATED: Alamance-Burlington Schools pivots from initial back-to-school plan

Benson said 8,300 families participated in that survey with close to half responding that they wanted in-person classes. Forty percent said they would prefer remote learning.

"We are hoping with more time and improvement in COVID-19 metrics, more families will select in-person learning," Benson said.

The full plan can be found here.

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