Frequently Asked Questions
For the 2020-21 School Year & Covid-19
For more information about DHHS guidelines for safe school, please click this link
When will The Learning Center reopen? When is the first day of school for the 2020-2021 academic year?
The first day of school for 2020-2021 will be August 17th.
Will my student have access to counselors?
The Learning Center provides counseling and mental health opportunities through DotCom Therapy.
Any families who feel their child could benefit from DotCom Therapy services are encouraged to contact the school for more information.
In addition, families are encouraged to call 211 or access the Hope4NC Helpline (1-855-587-3463)
What will the 2020-2021 school year look like?
We will follow local and state guidelines.
Staff has received excellent guidance from the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Re-Opening Plans are as follows:
Plan A: school reopens following local, state and national guidelines.
Updated 10/06/2020 As of Oct. 5, 2020, K-5 grade students are allowed to be in school under Plan A. The Plan A day will go from 7:55-3:10. All other measures remain in place except for the required 6 feet social distancing.
Plan B: school reopens at 50% capacity with a blended model and an alternating schedule (details below).
Updated 10/06/2020 As of Oct. 5, 2020, 6-8 grade students are operating under Plan B
Plan C: school reopens in 100% remote learning.
The Learning Center is fully prepared to be operational in Plan A, B, or C.
Will remote learning be a part of the 2020-2021 school year?
In Plan A, there are 5 required remote days included in the calendar.
Updated 10/06/2020 Under Plan A, Wednesdays are still remote days to allow teachers time to plan, grade student work, and engage with remote families.
In Plan B, when students aren’t on campus, they are expected to be working remotely.
Plan C is total remote learning for all students.
What does Plan B look like for my student?
Students will be split into two groups, Group A and Group B for attendance purposes.
Students will attend school for two days, and work remotely for the other three.
School will start at 7:55, and students will dismiss at 12:30.
** There will be after school and meaningful childcare offerings for working families after 12:30 and on days students are not in school. To be clear, there is care available 5 days a week until 3:30.
The general outline for A/B days is as follows:
Mondays and Tuesdays: “A Days” – half of the students on campus for in-person instruction from 7:55-12:30. “B” students working remotely these days, and engaging with their teachers from 1:30-3:30.
Wednesdays: Remote Learning Days for all students – this allows staff to clean, disinfect, and sanitize all rooms prior to Thursday. Pre-established office hours are set up for teacher/student engagement and questions.
Thursdays and Fridays: “B Days” – the other half of students on campus for in-person instruction from 7:55-12:30. “A” students working remotely these days, and engaging with their teachers from 1:30-3:30.
Will there be childcare or after school options for my students in Plan B?
We will offer childcare services for working families in need daily, and after school for students until 3:30 daily.
(Updated 07/16/2020) How will daily parent drop-of or pick-up look different?
Morning procedures will be as follows:
All families will enter the school by the railroad tracks entrance. (NOTE: NO families will be allowed to enter the main entrance from 7:15-8:00 in the mornings)
Families will drive around the school, and drop off their students by the greenhouse.
Students MUST wait in their cars until their temperatures have been taken and three COVID symptom questions have been asked.
Updated 08/07/2020: Once a student completes the screening, he/she can get out of their car and proceed to their homeroom
Updated 08/07/2020: Students eating breakfast will go to the Dining Commons and pick up their bag breakfast to take to the classroom and eat.
Student pick-up will operate the same, with the exception that students will remain in their homerooms and wait to be called to the front when it is their turn to leave.
(Updated 07/16/2020) I need to get in the office to ask a question or make a payment, how can I do that?
Parents wishing to get into the office will pull into a visitor parking spot, then call the school office (828.835.7240), and wait for further instruction.
Note: Visitors may be subject to having their temperature taken, and three COVID symptom questions asked before they may enter the office.
How will instructional materials be distributed?
Drop-off and pick-up days will be established during remote learning times.
All families will have access to instructional materials and resources, including technology.
In Plan B, students will receive materials for remote learning while they are receiving in-person instruction.
My household lacks internet access. How can my child participate in remote learning?
The Learning Center is prepared to loan out computers and chargers for students to use at home for their classwork.
Computers will be updated weekly during drop-off and pick-up times, or during in-person instruction, with new assignments being uploaded for students.
Previously completed student work will be accessed during drop-off and pick-up and given to teachers.
Any additional instructional materials will be provided for students, if needed, to help students while they are working from home. Ie: paper, pencils, rulers, etc.
How do we stay informed of changes?
Families should follow our Facebook page (search @TLCGrowZonePage on Facebook).
Check our website, naturallygrownkids.org routinely for updates.
The BrightArrow phone tree messaging system will send out phone communications.
Parents should also regularly check ClassTag for updates.
How will breakfast and lunch be served during the 2020-2021 school year?
Breakfast and lunch will still be served and remain free to all students.
Updated 08/07/2020: Both breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classroom in order to have fewer students grouped together at one time.
Lunches will be served in three shifts:
K-2nd grade: 10:45-11:10
3rd-5th grade: 11:20-11:45
6th-8th grade: 11:55-12:20
Breakfast and lunch if operating under Plan C- Remote Learning.
The Learning Center will either work with Cherokee County Schools or we will be distributing our own breakfasts and lunches from the school’s campus at designated times.
I am concerned about the Coronavirus outbreak and protecting my child from exposure. What health and safety guidelines will the school follow?
All students, staff and visitors should take their temperatures prior to coming to school.
Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher must stay home.
Screening will also be performed on-site at school every day.
A staff member, wearing a mask and gloves, will take temperatures with a touchless thermometer, washing or sanitizing their hands frequently.
Students will remain in their cars until their temperature has been taken.
Any staff member with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher will be sent home.
Students who develop fevers during the day will be escorted to a triage waiting area, where a staff member will monitor them until a parent or guardian can pick them up.
The Learning Center will notify the Cherokee County Public Health Department of any staff or students who do not pass the screening.
Updated 07/14/2020: Masks will be required for all K-8 students
Exceptions are allowed for students and staff who cannot wear a mask for behavioral, religious, mental or physical reasons.
Face coverings will be provided at the school for students and staff.
Families can send a child with their own mask. Please wash masks from home on a daily basis.
Staff will be teaching mask protocols and students will be asked to follow staff directives on wearing face coverings.
Social distancing markings will be on floors and walls, offices, the Dining Commons, Gymnatorium, hallways, walkways, and where appropriate.
Staff will monitor and enforce social distancing at all times.
Classroom furniture will be spaced apart and students can only gather in groups if there is room for social distancing.
The Learning Center is investing in table shields and other items to help with social distancing.
Student movement throughout the day will be limited (for example, teachers will go to students rather than students changing classrooms).
There will be limited use of shared classroom materials and any materials that are shared will be sanitized regularly.
There will be directional signs and one way doors when applicable.
Handwashing and Sanitizing:
There will be regular opportunities for students to wash or sanitize their hands.
Sanitizer stations will be placed around campus in order to be readily accessible at all times.
Updated 07/16/2020: Students will use a tissue to touch the water cooler spout when filling a water bottle, then throw the tissue away.
Students are required under current policy to bring a personal refillable water bottle with a wide-mouthed brim.
If a student is thirsty and does not have a water bottle, they can ask a staff member for a paper cup and use it to get water from the water fountain.
What if I don't want to bring my student to school, due to health risks or other reasons?
The Learning Center is prepared to offer a total remote learning option for families that are not comfortable returning their child to a physical classroom.
Self-Selected remote learning will be an option for families that feel remote learning is the best option for their child due to health related or other concerns.
Self-Selected remote learning will require a Remote Learning Family Contract.
Remote Learning Option:
Following any Covid-19 confirmed cases, school may have to revert to a remote learning program unitil the campus is cleaned and disinfected.
Students quarantined after an exposure or diagnosis of Covid-19 will have access to remote learning.
If the state or county moves back to a more restrictive phase and schools are ordered closed, The Learning Center will return to remote learning.
Strict, transparent communication from The Learning Center staff will inform families if the school is transitioning in or out of total remote learning.
What happens if an individual is exposed to someone with Covid-19?
Any student or staff member exposed to someone with Covid-19, even if that staff member or student has no symptoms and/or tests negative, must stay out of school for 14 calendar days and will enter into remote learning for that time.
What happens if someone is diagnosed with Covid-19?
Any student or staff member diagnosed with Covid-19 must remain out of school until at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive test.
Individuals that test negative may return to school once they feel well for at least 24 hours and have no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
If someone develops symptoms, they must stay out of school until it is safe to return, based on:
Has it been at least 10 days since the first symptoms were reported?
Have they had at least three days without a fever (without medication)?
Have they had at least three days without Covid-19 symptoms such as coughing and trouble breathing?
How will The Learning Center communicate with on campus visitors?
Anyone arriving at the school must wait in their car, in a designated area, and call the office to be received.
All on-campus visitors will be screened for temperatures.
Outside visitors and family members will be limited to the front office area.
Student drop-off, pick-up, and deliveries will be limited to the school office.
How will students interact with teachers and other classmates in a remote learning environment?
Students will have the opportunity to Zoom with their classmates and teachers.
Teachers have established office hours and will communicate with students and families during office hours.
Office hours will be communicated to all students and families.
What is my role as a parent or guardian during remote learning?
Keep your child engaged in their learning.
Check in with school regularly and consistently.
On remote learning days, maintain open communication with your child’s teachers.
What at home activities can I do with my child to help keep them engaged?
The Learning Center is offering virtual PE, Art, Chorus and Extracurricular Electives for students to engage in while they are at home.
Is remote learning mandatory? Does my child have to participate? How will attendance be tracked during remote learning?
Students must participate in remote learning if the school operates in Plan B or Plan C, and during remote days in Plan A.
Daily attendance will be taken in the form of in-person attendance or check-ins via text, email, or Google Classroom.
Students must check in on a daily basis before 5:00 pm to be counted present.
What supports are available for students with Individualized Education Plans?
EC- ALL SUPPORTS are available.
Educational and related services are available virtually (or in person as appropriate) on a ratio commensurate with what the LEA determines
What technology/troubleshooting support can I access if I need help with a school issued device or technology platform?
The Learning Center’s IT Department, The Tech Guys, will release information prior to the start of school for tech support options.
Is The Learning Center using Zoom? I have heard some concerns related to the safety of using Zoom.
EC related services (via DotCom Therapy) are provided through a HIPPA compliant version of Zoom.
Zoom features include password protected rooms, waiting rooms for increased teacher control, and disabled screen-sharing for students.
The Learning Center follows all Zoom updates to ensure safety is upheld.
Will the school playground that is traditionally accessible still be open for the 2020-2021 school year?
Students will have access to the playground at carefully scheduled times during the day.
Students will have their own play times, apart from other grades to refrain from the co-mingling or different grade levels.
The Learning Center PE program will be done remotely this year. Students will be able to participate in fun, engaging physical education activities during afternoons and remote days.
How can I submit other questions or find other answers about the 2020-2021 school year?
Please submit a question through our website or Facebook page.
Call the school at 828/835.7240.
What other resources are available in the community for our family?
➢ Matt’s Ministry Food Bank will have food distribution every Saturday in Hayesville. For more information, call 828-361-9083.
➢ The NC Cooperative Extensions of Clay and Cherokee counties have compiled a list of local food options. For more information, click the link.
➢ Cherokee County Food Bank will have food distribution every Tuesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon. For more information, call 828-321-5512.
➢ Clay County Food Bank will be offering food distribution. Call 828-389-1657 for more information.
➢ MANNA HelpLine 1-800-820-1109 in operation Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Callers can get help signing up for food stamps over the phone, including applications with stickers where they need to sign and a postage-paid envelope included for their local DSS. To view upcoming local markets, visit this link.
➢ A new app from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture is connecting farmers to consumers. The Visit NC Farms app showcases farms and fisheries, pick your own produce/fruit, farmer’s markets, local food and drink, shop local, farm stays and lodging, tours and trails, and special events. This app is helping to promote agritourism in local counties and other parts of the state. If you believe your business may fall into these categories, visit this link. To learn more about the app, click here.
➢ North Carolina has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. This program will provide extra help buying groceries for the families of the more than 800,000 children who normally receive free and reduced lunch at school. P-EBT eligible families currently receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will automatically receive an additional benefit on their EBT card. To learn more, visit this link.
➢ Governor Roy Cooper announced that parents who need food assistance for children 18 and younger can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. Parents need to enter their address + receive the location + serving times for nearby pick-up free meal sites. The service is also available in Spanish if you text “COMIDA” to 877-877.
➢ The U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Farm Service Agency will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses. Visit this WKRK link to learn more.