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NCASA Coronavirus Guidance & Resources

It was only last Saturday that NC Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order directing the closure of K-12 public schools as places of instruction until March 30, and since then, school leaders across the state have been tasked with making extremely difficult decisions to protect the best interests of their staff and students. The NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA) applauds the leadership of our school administrators as they tackle these new and complex challenges, and we have been in constant contact with policymakers to ensure public schools continue to receive the support they need. While numerous resources have been shared in the past days by various entities, NCASA has compiled the following guidance to help our members navigate their most pressing issues in response to the coronavirus.

 

School Personnel Work & Pay

While K-12 schools remain closed as instructional settings for students, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has maintained that employees should continue to work and be paid pursuant to this work. According to a memo on personnel matters issued by the State Board of Education, weekdays between March 16-30 are designated by default as “optional teacher work days” for employees, although local boards of education retain the flexibility to designate these days as mandatory teacher workdays or annual leave days, if their calendars allow.

While school districts are encouraged to reassign duties and provide opportunities so that employees can work from home, there will be certain duties that simply cannot be completed at home, such as preparing and delivering meals to students, or offering childcare to emergency workers. Under these circumstances, workers remaining onsite should abide by social distancing recommendations.

It is important to note that while Governor Cooper’s Executive Order bans mass gatherings of more than one hundred persons, the order does not ban more than 100 employees working on school grounds at a time; they simply cannot congregate in a central area, such as a library or cafeteria, all at once. Lastly, NCASA is continuing to work with policymakers to propose liability protections for districts with employees who must continue to provide in-person services. NCASA is also actively pursuing comprehensive, uniform guidance for all school staff regarding work days and leave time, and will keep our members updated as any progress is made.

 

Remote Learning

NCASA has repeatedly heard concerns from school leaders regarding remote learning for students, and in particular, the challenges rural districts face in providing instruction to students who do not have internet access. To combat these concerns, many school districts have purchased WiFi hot spots and are placing them throughout rural communities, or even on school buses that deliver meals to students. NCASA is working with lawmakers to pursue additional funding not only for these hot spots, but also for student devices and remote learning professional development for teachers.

NCDPI has also created a website offering Remote Learning Resources, which includes a section to submit requests and suggestions.

 

Additional Resources

 

Elizabeth Yelverton
eyelverton@ncasa.net
919-828-1426