9/1/2020 10:50:00 AM Local Schools Doing Well Adjusting To COVID
Iron Station Elementary finally opened for the 2020-2021 school year on Monday (Aug. 31st).
The walls are up on the new building at the Lincoln Charter School Lincolnton campus. It won't be occupied until next school year (2021-2022) when it will help eliminate using modular classrooms for early grades. Administrator Jonathan Bryant says Lincoln Charter's Lincolnton campus enrollment will grow--but slowly--not in a sudden burst. "Most of the upper grade growth will be from students moving up year to year."
UPDATE: After we had received our information from Lincoln County Schools Tuesday morning, it was reported that a student at Pumpkin Center Primary School had tested positive for the coronavirus. School administrators confirmed, however, that the student was a “remote only” student who came in for 30 minutes to be assessed. The teacher who met with that student was placed in quarantine for 14 days as precaution, although the teacher had no symptoms. The student is believed to have contracted the virus from a relative.
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
Lincoln County Schools and Lincoln Charter School report they are doing well in adjusting to the reality of the pandemic.
Lincoln County Schools opted for Plan B, a mix of in-school and remote learning, for most students, but offered Plan C, all remote learning, to those students whose families thought it was advisable to wait to go back to classes because of the pandemic.
Associate Supt. Dr. Aaron Allen told us Tuesday morning (September 1st): "As of today, we have 11, 243 students enrolled and of those, 2,668 have chosen Plan C (Remote Only) for at least the first 9 weeks. The rest are in Plan B and operating at 2 days face-to-face and 3 days remote learning.
"Iron Station was able to open successfully Monday (8-31) without incident and opened this week at 25% per day face-to- face." [That school didn't open on August 17th along with the others because some staff members had either tested positive for the virus or been exposed to an outbreak.]
"No reported issues with staff or students related to COVID. We had the custodial staff at Iron Station and 3 district staff work to prepare the space for staff and students before teachers returned for a workday on Friday (8-28).
"We will continue to update our COVID numbers by site on the Lincoln Count Schools webpage under COVID information."
We talked last week with Jonathan Bryant, administrator of Lincoln Charter School, who decided to start the year with all remote learning. Aside from not yet having received all the Chromebooks they had ordered back in early July, they've also had no problems. "Teachers and students are making do with what they have; most students have access to other computers at their homes. Our teachers are wonderful! They've really done an amazing job adapting to this situation; they've come up with many novel ideas to make learning fun and to make sure students learn during their time away from the classroom."
Bryant said much of what Lincoln Charter is doing now is preparing for the time when they can go back to having classes at their two locations in Lincolnton and Denver and for next year, when the construction of new buildings at Lincolnton is complete. "The walls went up last week! It's amazing to see it happening!"
Lincoln Charter was recently awarded a $700,000 grant from the NC Office of Charter Schools. The NC Advancing Charter Collaboration and Excellence for Student Success, or ACCESS Program is funded by a US Department of Education grant that provides money to charter schools who seek to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students in their schools. All grant applications were submitted, reviewed by external evaluators, recommended/approved by the NC Charter School Advisory Board, and reviewed/approved by the NC State Board of Education. Initial work on this grant started in mid-late 2019.
Bryant told us: "This grant funding will provide assistance to the Lincoln Charter community in several ways throughout the next three school years. Funding will directly benefit LCS via:
Transportation through bus purchases
Professional development in culturally responsive teaching and anti-racism practices through UNCC
Support of LCS teachers via the NC New Teacher Support Program, which provides training, instructional coaching, and additional assistance
Adding a school nurse, through a partnership with Lincoln County DHHS
Support for an outreach consultant, who will work with LCS hiring, marketing, mentorship, community partnerships, and student/staff support
The NC ACCESS grant will also provide additional training to LCS leadership.
"As we enter the first year of this grant, we are very excited about the support the ACCESS grant will provide to the LCS community. We remain committed to providing a quality college prep education that benefits all of our students, and this additional funding will help us to build on our successes."
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