In an emergency Board of Education meeting Monday, Iredell-Statesville Schools detailed procedures for the coming weeks in line with Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order that closed public schools statewide for at least two weeks.
As a part of that executive order, school districts are required “to provide for the health, nutrition, safety, educational needs and well-being of children during the school closure period.”
To comply with the executive order, I-SS is implementing a remote learning plan, a child nutrition plan and an emergency child care plan. While the plan was initially announced Monday, the details of it were outlined during the meeting.
Remote learning plan
I-SS is providing instructional packets for elementary students with instruction starting on Monday. The instructional packets last for one month or 20 instructional days, said Jon Ribbeck, I-SS executive director of kindergarten through fifth-grade curriculum.
The packets will be delivered at school bus stops for bus riders by the end of this week. The parents of car riders are asked to pick up the packets from their child’s school.
For the packets leftover, Ribbeck said that the families will be contacted and the delivery of the packets will be arranged.
The individual schools will contact parents regarding what day the instructional packets will be delivered to the bus stops.
Ribbeck said that the packets will be delivered as safely as possible given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19.
Ribbeck said that the instructional material will be aligned based on grade level with each grade receiving a similar amount of work across all of the district’s schools.
The packets will focus on reading and math, which Ribbeck said were essential subjects.
Teachers are providing information and hours for students and parents to contact them for questions regarding instruction.
Ribbeck said that teachers can work with students virtually if requested and if the student has internet access.
Ribbeck said that I-SS is not giving out devices to students at this time. He said that there is not enough to give out, and that they didn’t want families to be liable for devices.
For secondary education, instruction will be online next week unless the student does not have a home internet connection.
Those students will receive instructional booklets, said Kelly Cooper, I-SS executive director of secondary education.
Instructional material next week will be review material while teachers migrate their material online, Cooper said.
After next week, instructional material will mostly be online.
The Statesville, Troutman and Harmony branches of the public library will allow students from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to access their class material online through the library’s Wi-Fi.
Students without transportation to one of the public libraries can call ICATS Public Transit at 704-873-9393, ext. 5, to schedule transportation. ICATS will drop students off at 10 a.m. and pick them up at 2 p.m.
Cooper said that Spectrum is offering free internet service for students for 60 days in households that do not already have the service. She said that I-SS is working with students who are outside of Spectrum’s boundaries and who do not have access to the library’s internet, to ensure that they receive instructional material.
Child nutrition plan
Parents can register their children online to receive meals through the plan, said Tina Wilson, I-SS director of child nutrition.
I-SS is currently providing breakfast and lunch to students.
The 12 nutrition hubs where meals can be picked up are Brawley Middle School, Celeste Henkel Elementary, Cloverleaf Elementary, East Iredell Elementary, Harmony Elementary, N.B. Mills Elementary, Scotts Elementary, Statesville Middle, Statesville High, Third Creek Elementary, Troutman Middle and Union Grove.
The meals can only be picked up by drive-thru.
For students whose meals need to be delivered, Wilson said that I-SS would work with the students’ families to ensure that happens.
“We don’t want one child, not one, left out of this,” Wilson said.
A motion to provide up to $10,000 in additional funding to provide the meals was passed unanimously by the board at Monday’s meeting.
Emergency child care plan
I-SS is providing child care for the children of people who are essential to the well-being of the community, said Grover Linebarger, I-SS director of prime time ADR.
Essential employees are those who work in the medical profession or emergency management.
The child care is for students in grades kindergarten to fifth grade.
The hosting sites for child care are Woodland Heights Elementary, Lakeshore Elementary, Troutman Elementary, Cloverleaf Elementary and Celeste Henkel Elementary.
The sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registration is $25 and the cost is $15 per day.
Parents can call Linebarger at 704-832-2514 or by email at email@example.com to determine if they are eligible for the child care service.
“We are asking people to be patient with us and be understanding. This is not easy, and we don’t have all the answers,” said I-SS Superintendent Brady Johnson.
“This staff is working incredibly hard to make sure here in Iredell County that we have a great response.”