Johnston County to begin school year online; younger students will move to ‘Plan B’ on Sept. 8

Johnston County News

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – The Johnston County Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to begin the school year with remote instruction. Kindergarten through fifth grades will move to “Plan B” on Sept. 8, the school board decided.

“K-5 will be on a virtual platform until Sept. 8 to give our transportation time to reroute the elementary school routes based upon the transportation needs,” said board chairman Todd Sutton.

“I just couldn’t fathom having a kindergarten student never going to school and then having them on a virtual platform the entire year or for the first nine weeks or for the first semester. So it was very critical for me to make sure we at least got our K-5 students back in the classroom first.”

The plan devised Wednesday has students being divided into two groups upon returning to the classrooms.

“They’ll be broken down into two groups: an A group and a B group. A will go on Monday-Tuesday. Wednesday will be a deep cleaning day, as well as a planning day for our teachers. And then the B group will come in on Thursdays and Fridays,” Sutton said.

The board also scheduled a meeting for Aug. 11 to reevaluate strategies based on the latest data and to discuss further plans for grades 6-12. It did not make a decision on pre-kindergarten.

The decision came at the end of a meeting Wednesday that lasted about six hours.

Johnston County’s decision follows similar moves to begin the school year in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties with all-online learning.

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