Covid-19 Response

The safety or our students, staff, and visitors is our number one priority.  We follow state DHHS guidelines in all operations and procedures.  For more information about DHHS guidelines, please click here.

Our Covid-19 Response is divided into three sections:

Section I:  Summer LEAP Program Covid-19 Protocols

Section II:  2021-22 School Year

Section III:  Community Resources and Links

Section I: Summer LEAP Program Covid-19 Protocols

Morning procedures will be as follows:

  • All families will enter the school by the railroad tracks entrance. 

  • Drop-off begins at 8:50am.  Pick-up is at 2:00pm

  • Parents should not drop off students prior to 8:50 and only when staff/teachers are outside to safely receive the students.

  • Families will drive around the school, and drop off their students by the greenhouse.

  • 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.

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.

Families should follow our Facebook page (search @TLCGrowZonePage on Facebook).

Check our website, routinely for updates.

The BrightArrow phone tree messaging system will send out phone communications.

Parents should also regularly check ClassTag for updates.

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.



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.


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)​


Social Distancing:


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.

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.


Water Fountains:

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 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?


Section II: 2021-22 School Year

The Learning Center Charter School Board of Directors, Administration, and staff is awaiting guidance from NC DHHS for Covid-19 protocols and procedures for the upcoming school year. This section will be updated once information is available. 

Section III: Community Resources and Links


-    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.


Click the button below to learn more about this rent and utility assistance program for low and moderate-low income renters experiencing financial hardship due to economic effects of Covid-19.