Essie Mae Kiser Foxx reopening with blended model, virtual option

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 22, 2020

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — Essie Mae Kiser Foxx Charter School plans to begin in-person classes with a blended model similar to the one adopted by Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

The plan, adopted last week by the charter school’s board, will separate students into A and B groups to attend classes in-person two days a week and engage in virtual learning for three days a week. All students will be virtual on Mondays. The charter will begin classes on Aug. 17, the same day as RSS.

All students will be fed breakfast and lunch. On remote days, meals will be delivered to students. There will be daily cleaning and comprehensive cleaning of the facilities on Monday.

The school will follow state guidelines requiring all staff and students to wear masks and practice social distancing. Everyone will have their temperatures checked before entering the school. A news release from the school said siblings in the same household in different grade levels will have special accommodations along with students with health concerns.

Board of Directors Chair Tina Foxx Wallace said the plan was based on state guidance and that children will generally learn better with face-to-face instruction. The school surveyed parents. The school is offering an option for virtual only as well.

Director of Operations Latisha Feamster said there will be training for parents and students to acclimate them to new devices for virtual learning. Teachers are going through training week right now to ensure they can use all the school’s platforms.

Feamster said new and returning teachers are ready to ensure students and parents have what they need going into the new year.

Foxx Wallace said Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision about how schools would be allowed to reopen helped solidify its plans.

“We kept ourselves abreast to what was going on with the COVID pandemic,” Foxx Wallace said.

Cooper gave public schools and districts the option to return to in-person classes at 50% density or return to virtual learning alone, though the state was advising schools they needed to be prepared to provide virtual-only school ahead of his decision.

Essie Mae delivered work to students via buses last semester as needed. The school will host a jumpstart camp for students from July 27 to Aug. 7.

The school posts updates to its website at essiesschool.com at facebook.com/EssiesSchool for further instruction and meeting dates about the Re-Entry Plan. The school can be contacted at  704-603-4460.

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About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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