COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information and Resources
School Closure Information
All Dare County Schools are closed until May 15, 2020 as directed by Governor Cooper's Executive Order that was issued on March 23, 2020.
Athletic events have been suspended as a result of the decision made by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
All out of district field trips and travel have been suspended until further notice.
Dare County Schools will suspend any school facility use outside of the instructional day for any gathering of 100 or more people beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020.
- April 1: State Board of Education Policy for Graduating Seniors
- March 31: Meal Program Canceled on April 1
- March 30, 2020: DCS March 30 Updates
- March 23, 2020: NC Public Schools Closed Until May 15
- March 19, 2020: Remote Learning Begins Monday, March 23
- March 16, 2020: Remote Learning in DCS
- March 16, 2020: Dare County Schools Student Meals Program
- March 14, 2020: NC Schools Closed
- March 13, 2020: Social Gatherings and Facilities Use
- March 12, 2020: Athletics are Suspended/Travel Restrictions
- March 9, 2020: Coronavirus Helpline
- February 27, 2020: Monitoring the Coronavirus
Good morning DCS Families,
This email is directed primarily to the parents of graduating seniors. The North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) has provided guidance and adopted several COVID-19 policies as it relates to guidance for remote learning, evaluation of student progress and graduating seniors. The senior leadership team has worked our high school principals the past few days in attempting to gain some clarification from NCDPI before sending this information out. We are aware that this information was released publically over the weekend but needed to gain some clarity on a few issues before sending this home to parents. In addition, we were informed that North Carolina Virtual Public Schools would send related information this morning (4/1) which we received at 9:00 am.
Please note that NCDPI consulted with the UNC System and NC Independent Colleges and Universities through their Admission Directors and system offices prior to making these adoptions. The State Board has stated that Admission Directors see this plan as reasonable and will not disadvantage students for transition to post-secondary plans. Lastly, the SBE recognizes that students may not be able to finish the instructional year equitably across NC as access to, and quality of, remote learning for NC Public School students varies across the state.
North Carolina Public Schools must adhere to the following:
NCDPI’s goals for the Senior Class of 2020 are to graduate high school seniors by meeting minimum SBE graduation requirements of 22 credits on the originally scheduled graduation date.
- Students will receive grades for fall courses as already stored, and those grades will count toward GPA – for year-long courses, the fall term grade will be counted toward GPA. For year-long courses, the fall term grade will be counted into the GPA
- Students will receive a Pass or Withdrawal for spring courses based on their learning as of March 13 (the last day before remote learning began). The code for a Pass is “PC19” while a Withdrawal is “WC19”.
- If a student has an F as of March 13, the district/school shall provide opportunities for the student to improve to a passing grade. Opportunities for Seniors to pass graduation requirements shall include: (A.) Participate in remote learning through the enrolled district; (2.) Enroll in NC Virtual Public School for all courses applicable; (C.) Participate in credit recovery aligned to instructional topics covered through March 13; or (D.) Pass a final locally-developed assessment aligned to instructional topics covered through March 13. A final assessment can be in a variety of formats, including but not limited to a portfolio, interview, teacher-made test, project, and/or some other performance-based measure.
- If an Occupational Course of Study (OCS) student completes 157 of the 225 hours of “paid work hours” graduation requirement, the student will receive a Pass ‘PC19”.
- NCVPS courses fall under the same procedures as above.
- Dual Enrollment (COA) courses will continue throughout the rest of the semester with assessments and grades.
Additional Considerations from the SBE:
- Remote learning for graduating seniors will be prioritized to focus on meeting graduation requirements with a particular emphasis on students who were not meeting expectations as of March 13.
- NCDPI encourages that remote learning opportunities be available for seniors to engage students, continue student growth, and respond to social and emotional needs.
- Students have made progress in their learning this semester and need recognition of their learning until school closure on March 16.
- Grading practices for transcript purposes will hold students harmless for the impact of COVID-19.
- School districts are awaiting further guidance from NCDPI regarding class rankings.
- AP classes fall under the same aforementioned grading policies and the March 13 timeframe.
- Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.
- Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates.
- The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3.
- For the 2019–20 exam administration only, students can take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. Educator-led development committees are currently selecting the exam questions that will be administered.
- Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.
- Students will be able to take these streamlined exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option.
- For more information about AP and a link to College Board AP Website: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update
DCS Third Quarter Grade Information:
- 3rd Quarter ends on April 2nd
- 3rd quarter grades will be issued for all high school courses
- 3rd quarter grades below passing (60) will be recorded as incomplete (Inc.) allowing students to complete missing assignments and improve their grade
In closing, please keep in mind the Dare County Schools have to follow the State Board of Education mandates. While we recognize our capacity to deliver high-quality remote learning protocol is significant; the State Board of Education is acting with the best interests of communities across the state.
Please feel free to contact your high school principal, Assistant Superintendent ArtyTillett or me with questions.
Good afternoon Dare County Families,
The weather forecast for tomorrow is holding steady with sustained winds at 35 mph and gusts possibly over 50 mph. We have concerns with putting buses on the roads in those conditions, especially over bridges. Therefore, we are going to cancel the meal program for tomorrow (4/1) and look to resume on Thursday morning.
Dare County Families,
Good afternoon. Thank you for a very successful 1st week as we have transitioned to "Remote Learning" protocol in Dare County Schools. I have received numerous emails from parents who have been so appreciative of the work our teachers have done in providing engaging instructional learning opportunities for our students. While remote learning is not our preferred delivery of instruction, it is an opportunity to prevent academic slide and provide course completion at the high school level. As a parent, I can understand and appreciate the extra time, attention and occasional stress this has put on families. So, I thank you for your commitment and efforts at home. I am hoping that reconnecting with teachers last week provided some level of normalcy with our kids.
I have a few updates to share:
- State Board of Education: The North Carolina State Board of Education unanimously approved the submission of a one-year waiver of federal student assessment and accountability requirements for the 2019-2020 school year from the U.S. Department of Education, which was then submitted by DPI and later approved. Thus, there will be no EOG’s or EOC’s this spring even if we return to school during the present school calendar year. The only exception could be for online AP exams. DCS is waiting for more guidance from NCDPI.
- Book Mobile: DCS is working on a “bookmobile” that would provide a new book for students (once a week) to read from home. We intend to provide K-8 students with a “surprise book” at our meal pickup sites. Many thanks to DareCASA, Participate Learning and Pierce Group Benefits for the sizable donations that support this initiative. Also, many thanks to Sherry Smalley from FFES who came up with the idea, Chelsea Brantley from NHES who is coordinating the program with Scholastic Books and Elementary Education Director Kelly Flora who is directing the project.
- Webinars: The district is providing professional learning webinars every Thursday for staff members. We have also shared content from this series with local preschool teachers in Dare County. Our curriculum leaders are working on a remote learning video series for parents who may have some interest in learning more about our program platforms.
- April BOE Meeting: The DCS Board of Education will hold the April business meeting on April 21. This will be a virtual meeting where the community can listen via audio and submit public comments in advance. Our website will provide more information in the coming weeks.
- Spring Break: While many districts have not had the capacity to jump out with a comprehensive remote learning rollout, DCS has been at the forefront across the state. Thus, the senior central office leadership team and principals met virtually last week and are in agreement that teachers, students, and parents will need a break come mid-April. Thus, we will observe spring break during the week of April 13-17.
- Meals Program: Dare County Schools served nearly 9,000 meals last week in various sites across the county! Three cheers go out to Kelleta Govan, Alex Chandler, child nutrition staff and our bus drivers for their leadership and commitment! WELL DONE! I'd also like to thank representatives from Publix who have provided school supplies and Food for Thought for providing additional meals for families! Thank you, thank you, thank you! The meal program will not be open on the April 13 holiday. However, we will provide an extra set of meals on Friday, April 10 for families. The meal program will open back up and run the rest of spring break (April 14 - 17).
In closing, I can't thank parents enough for your partnership and support during these difficult times. Please stay healthy and well.
Good afternoon. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has announced this afternoon that he has issued an Executive Order to keep NC Public Schools closed through May 15, 2020. The North Carolina State Board of Education also announced this morning that they are pursuing a federal waiver that would waive student testing requirements and accountability standards this year.
As we kickoff our remote learning protocol this week, I would encourage you to communicate as needed with your children's teachers as they support you and your children during this transitional time. A reminder that you can find additional resources on our website at https://www.daretolearn.org/about/covid-19-information/online-learning-protocols
I hope that you and your family are well and staying healthy.
Dare County Families,
After many hours of preparation, we are ready to launch our remote learning plan beginning on Monday, March 23. We have updated our district website to include all of the information that families and students will need to get started. Please see the links below:
Please do not hesitate to contact our teachers and school leaders with any questions or comments. Although these are unprecedented times for our community, we will continue to rally together, and we will get through this.
Good afternoon Dare County Families,
While there is much anxiety, angst, and unknown in all of us given the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus at this time is in supporting each other, families, students and community to the best of our ability. I am calling on all stakeholders to pull together in the spirit of collaboration, and resilience that is the Dare County way of life. It's who we are as a community, the most giving community in the country.
We have held two special called meetings this morning with our senior leadership staff and then with all of our district building-level leaders. Our focus has been on the rollout of the Dare County Schools Remote Learning Plan that our district leaders have been working on for some time now. I'd like to thank the Chairman of the Dare County Board of Education, Ms. Bea Basnight and Vice-Chairman Mary Ellon Ballance for joining us this morning and for their input. Our Board of Education members in Dare County are advocates for all of our stakeholders and champions for education. Thank you to Harvey Hess, Frank Hester, Margaret Lawler, Joe Tauber, and David Twiddy for your many supportive actions and words of encouragement during the past few weeks.
With the Executive Order from Governor Cooper that closes all North Carolina Schools for at least the next two weeks, Dare County Schools is prepared to transition to remote learning for all students grades K-12 on Monday, March 23, 2020. We will use online learning resources to support our students during this difficult and unprecedented time. While we realize online learning cannot fully substitute the quality of a face-to-face classroom, we are prepared to provide our students with creative and unique opportunities to continue their education while schools are closed.
We will leverage our access to technology to limit unnecessary gaps in learning due to this unprecedented school closure. Although we know there will be challenges, Dare County Schools is well-positioned to provide online instruction to all of our students because of our one-to-one Chromebook initiative.
• On Monday, March 16, all of our teachers are attending training on remote learning protocols. Following the training, we will communicate more details to students and parents.
• Our teachers will work to create online classrooms and digital resources during the week of March 16 - March 20. These are required workdays for teachers. Staff have the option to work from home or school.
• Online learning will be available to all students in Dare County Schools. Dare County Schools will provide a technology device for anyone who does not have access to a device in their home. Parents can sign out devices at your child’s school on Tuesday, March 17 from 12:00 to 6:00 pm or on Wednesday, March 18 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Parents/students can also pick up personal effects, books, instruments, medications from the nurse (if applicable) during these two time periods. Students and visitors will not be allowed back in school buildings following these pick-up windows until further notice.
• On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, we will post on our website a list of all of our teachers and information about their remote instruction. Teachers will contact students and parents with instructions on how students can participate in remote learning.
• Students can participate in online learning with any internet-capable device: smartphone, school-issued Chromebook, laptop, desktop, iPad or tablet.
• The first day for students to begin remote learning is March 23, 2020.
• Our Technology Department will be available through email (email@example.com) and chat to help students, parents, and teachers that have technical support questions. We will do everything we can to ensure that this process works seamlessly.
• We are working to acquire temporary wifi “hot spots” for families that do not have internet connectivity.
• We will post daily updates to this website: https://www.daretolearn.org/about/covid-19-information
Student Meal Program:
Our School Nutrition Department will serve breakfast and lunch to all children that live in Dare County ages 0-18. These meals are at no cost and will be available as long as our schools are closed due to the Governor's Executive Order. The meals can be picked up at Manteo Elementary School, First Flight Elementary School, and Cape Hatteras Elementary School. Additionally, we are working with local businesses to arrange a meal pick-up location in each community in Dare County. Meals will be served Monday through Friday starting on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Breakfast will be available from 7:45am - 8:45am while lunch will be available from 11:00am - 12:30am. You can contact School Nutrition Director, Kelleta Govan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions and for more information.
Please check our website for updates on a daily basis. Remote learning videos will be available to all elementary, middle and high school families this Thursday (3/19) that will provide additional details and expectations. We will also be posting a new remote learning email address that parents can use to submit questions following our Thursday video announcements.
Please do not hesitate to contact our senior leadership team with questions. Thank you for your support.
Good afternoon. Our "Student Meals Program" will commence tomorrow at the following locations on a daily basis until further notice:
- Manteo Elementary, First Flight Elementary, and Cape Hatteras Elementary School
- Wanchese, Bethany United Methodist Church
- Manteo, Roanoke Community Center (Head Start)
- Stumpy Point, Community Center
- Manns Harbor, Fire Department
- East Lake, South Lake Drive
- Nags Head, Tanger Outlet & Dowdy Park
- Kill Devil Hills, Belk Center
- Kitty Hawk, Daniels Home Import & Kitty Hawk Elementary
- Avon, 40591 NC Hwy 12 (Parking lot beside Burger Burger)
- Tri-Villages, Community Building
- Buxton, Cape Hatteras Elementary
- Hatteras Island Community Center
- Colington, TJ's Gas & Grill
Breakfast pickup in the community is available from 7:45 am to - 8:45 am. Lunch pickup at all locations is from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm. There will be "pickup and go" Kiosks at each site. Any 0-18-year-old Dare County resident can receive hot meals until further notice. There is no cost to students.
Many, many thanks to our community partners! Also "3 cheers" to our Director of Child Nutrition, Ms. Kelleta Govan and our Director of Transportation, Mr. Alex Chandler who have led up this incredible effort!
Dare County Families,
Good afternoon. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference this afternoon (3/14) where he announced an Executive Order that will close all North Carolina Public Schools for at least the next two weeks.
The Dare County Schools leadership team has developed a “Remote learning plan” to prepare for an event like this. We are prepared to begin a K-12 remote learning program that will commence this week.
The North Carolina State Board of Education is meeting at this hour. We anticipate the State Board will provide more specific guidance to public school districts. Dare County School community stakeholders will receive more detailed information regarding our remote learning plan and next steps by 2:00 pm tomorrow.
Good afternoon DCS families,
At a press conference yesterday, Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services strongly recommended that organizers of events that draw more than 100 people should cancel, postpone, modify these events or offer online streaming services. These events include large gatherings where people are in close contact (less than 6 feet), for example, concerts, conferences, sporting events, faith-based events, and other large gatherings.
As you are aware, Dare County School facilities host many public gatherings such as those described above. DCS Board of Education policy 5035 Use of Facilities provides the superintendent of schools with the authority to cancel or amend facility use protocols in unforeseen circumstances. Given the guidance from the Governor and the concerns with social gatherings, Dare County Schools will suspend any school facility use outside of the instructional day for any gathering of 100 or more people. This will go into effect on Monday, March 16, 2020, and remain until further notice. Any facility use partner who cancels an event may apply for a prorated refund by contacting Russ Gurganus, Director of Facilities.
Please note that this standard is in effect for facility use hours after the instructional day. As an example- large gatherings such as a school play or concert. We are not currently canceling in-county field trips unless students were to travel to a venue where there would be a gathering of more than 100 people. Schools are going to amend, alter or postpone programs where they would have more than 100 community members present at a school event (Ex. PTO event where children are performing).
As of 9:00 am this morning, there have been no confirmed persons with COVID-19 in the Outer Banks. DCS and the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services are monitoring this situation closely on an hourly basis. We are certainly aware of school district closures across the state and the country. We are following the school decision making recommendations for communities that have no spread of the virus. We hope to be able to keep our schools open but are ready to roll out an immediate comprehensive digital learning plan within 48 hours of closing school if necessary.
Our senior leadership team has produced a new COVID-19 webpage for our stakeholders that provides a broad array of resources:
In closing, I can assure you that we are expending all energies and focus on monitoring this pandemic.
Dare County Families,
Good afternoon. I have 2 announcements as we monitor the potential impacts of the Coronavirus:
1. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has announced the following:
The Board of Directors has moved to suspend interscholastic athletics beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020 through Monday, April 6th, 2020. The NCHSAA Board of Directors will assess this situation regularly over the next few weeks. This includes all workouts, skill development, practices, and contests.
2. Dare County Schools is suspending all out of county travel indefinitely. This includes all field trips, meetings, and professional development.
Thank you for your support of our efforts to be proactive in mitigating potential impacts in our communities. We are going to release a COVID-19 resource and support site on our district website tomorrow morning via email.
Good morning DCS families,
As questions and concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19) increase across North Carolina, we’d like to encourage the promotion of the statewide Coronavirus Helpline for the public, which is answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
The phone number to the Coronavirus Helpline is 1-866-462-3821.
The line, which was established by the NC Division of Public Health, is staffed by North Carolina Poison Control’s nurses and pharmacists who are backed by clinical and medical toxicologists and who have been trained in responding with up-to-date information to a host of questions about coronavirus. The medical guidelines that are used to assess and manage coronavirus exposures were developed according to CDC protocols in conjunction with the heads of the NC DHHS Epidemiology, Communicable Disease, and Preparedness branches. State epidemiologists will work to ensure any patient of concern is evaluated.
One centralized number means a better coronavirus surveillance picture for the state and consistent treatment protocols for patients. Having one number can also reduce the burden of calls to individual health departments, and it provides one streamlined message for the public.
Dare County Families,
Good afternoon. With the ongoing news surrounding the coronavirus, I wanted to reach out to let you know that we have been closely following recent media reports and information from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the Coronavirus. I am also in regular contact with Dr. Sheila Davies, Director of the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services.
While the CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to the general American public is considered low at this time. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina and the United States is not reporting a coronavirus pandemic (defined as “when a disease is spreading diffusely across a large region or multiple regions”). As you know, the safety, security, and wellbeing of our students and community is always our top priority. We will continue to closely monitor the status of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Best Practices: We are encouraging teachers, schools and parents to continue to follow the best health and wellness practices across our schools, which include:
- Washing hands often under clean, running water for 30 seconds can help prevent the spread of germs. For more guidance see the CDC: When and How to Wash Your Hands. If you cannot wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol.
- Encouraging sneezing/coughing into elbows, and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Stakeholders should stay home when they are sick. This will help prevent others from catching an illness.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
- Getting enough rest.
Resources: There are many resources available to help schools and families to understand the current situation regarding the virus. We recommend the following top resources for information:
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is providing regular updates and has information readily available about the virus:
U.S. State Department issues advisories for travel and currently has issued Level 4 advisories (do not travel) for China and the Hubei province, which includes Wuhan.
For Parents - Talking with Children:
Healthline has published How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus
Psychology Today has published How to Talk to Your Anxious Child About the Coronavirus.
North Carolina Updates:
For NC updates go to: www.ncdhhs.gov
Our hope is that the above resources and information are useful to you while also assuring you that we are monitoring the situation closely. Our school nurses are available for questions and support as is the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services. We will continue to provide updates and ongoing information. Thank you for your patience, cooperation and support as we work together for the health and safety of our community.
- Our Preparations and Prevention Protocols
- State vs. Local Authority
- Guiding Themes and Considerations
- Parent Notifications and Where to Find Information
- Online Learning
One of the best strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to utilize general infection prevention measures that include:
- If you or your child is sick, stay home from work or school and contact your healthcare provider. Talk with teachers about classroom assignments and activities your child can do from home to keep up with their schoolwork.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services.
The school district is working closely with local, state, and federal agencies to ensure that we have access to the latest information and resources to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community. Here is an overview of our current prevention and containment protocols:
- All schools have access to a nurse.
- School custodial teams are increasing deep cleanings of classrooms and public spaces in all schools.
- Our Facilities Department is ensuring that all schools have access to adequate hygiene and cleaning materials.
- Students and staff are being encouraged to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom. All bathrooms will be stocked with soap and paper towels. The Center for Disease Control recommends washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, but using hot water is not a requirement.
- We are also strongly encouraging hand washing throughout the school day at every available opportunity for students and staff.
- Posters are being provided to all of the schools that promote smart hygiene practices.
- All DCS-sponsored international travel has been suspeneded.
The Superintendent has authority as outlined by Board of Education policies to administer the functions and operations of all Dare County Schools. During a health outbreak crisis, the Superintendent and Board of Education will work directly with local elected officials and the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services to make decisions on school closure. The Superintendent is following advice from healthcare professionals and will make the best decisions for the students, staff, and parents in the district. We realize that the decision to close schools would have significant impacts on our community, and we do not take the decision lightly. However, if healthcare professionals and county officials advise such a course, the Superintendent will consider such advice as paramount in his decision-making process.
As we continue to evaluate this situation on an hour-to-hour basis, we are guided by these considerations:
- Communicating regularly with students, families, staff, and the larger school community.
- Practicing routine cleaning and disinfecting procedures of commonly touched surfaces.
- Maintaining an open line of communication with local, state, and federal agencies.
- Intentionally and persistently combatting stigma through information sharing. COVID-19 is not at all connected to race, ethnicity, or nationality.
- Actively engaging in contingency planning for the possibility of extended school closures.
The fastest way for parents, students and staff to receive up-to-date information is to visit this website. Additionally, parents are recommended to make sure their contact information is updated by calling their child's school and speaking with the data manager.
Information will also be shared on the DCS Facebook page. This is a public page and can be viewed with or without having a Facebook account.