The Mecklenburg County Public Schools Facebook page has put out a detailed list of expectations for both students and parents for the 2020-2021 school year. As Paul Nichols put it in his latest web series video, “we will start a school year like no other.”
The number one expectation for students this year will be to attend school regularly whether in person or virtually. Students will be expected to complete assignments daily as part of a check-in. If virtual students are experiencing issues with internet access, they will be able to email, phone, or use other agreed-upon means to check in with their teacher that day and be counted present.
Teachers will also be live streaming lessons as scheduled. It is asked that students participate in the live-stream whenever possible, however recordings will be available if issues arise so that students are able to access and review lessons.
Students and families are also being provided with teachers’ schedules so that they can interact with teachers during their planning blocks. This would be the time to communicate with teachers if extra help is needed.
Students this year are also expected to take care of their MCPS issued devices. Face-to-face students will be asked to bring their devices with them to school each day. With these live sessions, a few rules have been enacted to keep order: students will need to have the video feature on at all times, eating or drinking during the session has been prohibited as well as cell phone usage unless being used for the lesson, and all students will have the mute button enabled.
Parents have also been given a small list of expectations going through the school year. Some of the expectations provided for parents include providing notification if student will be absent; daily attendance is being taken, assisting in providing a distraction-free space for students, and assisting in keeping passwords and login information in a safe and secure location for easy access. Additionally, parents will be able to sign up for Parent Portal, a domain to be monitored regularly for students’ grades and attendance.
MCPS parents will be able to get in touch with their student’s teachers through a variety of ways including email, REMIND text, and getting the school secretary to pass a message along if all else fails. MCPS would like to remind parents to keep an eye on their student during this school year, as frustrations are bound to pop up. They encourage parents to keep in touch with teachers so that they can address problems as a group.
Lastly, Nichols addressed the inevitability that cases of COVID will pop up in schools as time goes on. Nichols stated, “Since last spring—and continuing through this week—there have been MCPS employees that have tested positive and they have been isolated. When the school starts, we will have to be prepared for the reality that cases will continue to emerge from both students and employees. That is the nature of this highly communicable virus. We seek to diminish the chances of infection through our COVID protocols.” MCPS is working endlessly to ensure the safety of all children, teachers, and staff members during this school year.