A draft reopening plan for the Cumberland County school system features in-person and online options for students this next school year. 

“It is essential that everyone understands that this plan is constantly evolving and changing based upon data and new information related to COVID-19,” writes Director of Schools Ina Maxwell. 

The Cumberland County Board of Education is set to discuss the draft plan tonight, with a work session beginning at 5 p.m. and a special-called meeting to follow. 

Under the plan, students attending in-person classes will have daily temperature checks, social distancing, frequent handwashing, and a recommendation to use cloth or disposable masks in different parts of the school building. 

Parents are asked to check their child’s temperature each day before leaving home. If children have a temperature of 100.4 or greater, or if the child has any symptoms or has been in contact with anyone with COVID-19, they should stay home. 

Students with temperatures greater than 100.4 or who present with symptoms during the school day will be sent home with parents. Returning to classes will require medical documentation that the illness was not COVID-19 or that the student has quarantined for at least 10 days and been symptom-free for 10 days. 

The Cumberland Connect Online Program will have daily interaction with teachers and assignments delivered through the online platform. 

Applications for this option will be due by July 29 and students and parents or guardians must attend an orientation session. 

Online learning will require seven hours of instruction per day, and it will include the same curriculum used in the classroom. 

The plan also considers the spread of the virus in the community, with metrics for low, medium and high spread. Low spread would be active COVID-19 cases of less than .5% of the population, or less than 302 active cases. Medium spread is considered .5% to 1% of the population with active cases: 303-606 active cases. High spread is more than 607 active cases impacting 1% of the population or more. 

The county reported 85 active cases of the virus on Tuesday, an increase of 12 from the day before. 

Under the plan, the school system would work with the health department to evaluate medium and high spread, including contact tracing and attendance rates. 

If schools are closed due to COVID-19, all students will utilize remote learning. Unlike in the spring, all assignments must be completed, with 180 instructional days required. Attendance will be taken. 

Other items in the plan include limited visitor access to the school, including discontinuing lunchtime visitors. 

Bus drivers will not take student temperatures. While face masks are recommended, they are not required. Students from the same household or bus stop will sit together, and students may not change seats. Each bus will have hand sanitizer. Buses will be cleaned before and after each trip. 

The nutrition program will provide breakfast and lunch each day; however, each school will determine how meals are served. This could include eating in classrooms, outdoor spaces or small groups in the cafeteria.