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Governor closes schools for rest of semester

Earlier this afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper closed all North Carolina public schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

"Don’t worry Haywood County Schools Family, we got this. Together, when schools first closed, we quickly started remote learning and food distribution. Our food distribution and learning support are second to none," said Haywood County Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte. "Students, learn as much as you can. What you learn now will be more important than any grade you might receive in the short term."

The N.C. State Board of Education has established that student grades will not be lower than they were on March 13. With that said, the state board made provisions yesterday for high school students in grades 9-11 to opt to improve their grades and grade-point-average (GPA) beyond March 13. Details about this and other matters will be shared later by individual schools.

"Teachers and school staff, you are the best. We are so proud of you. Your work has been very meaningful to many students and their families. Provide the best educational support that you can and feed as many as you can. Continue your work in supporting students and parents with purpose and grace," Nolte said. "Parents, guardians, grandparents, and other adults supporting students at home, thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do. We are clearly in this together. We want you to know we want the best possible outcome for your children and our students."

The N.C. State Board of Education met on Thursday, April 23. Nolte said the school system will spend the next few workdays talking with state and local officials about state rules, regulations, and resources impacting the remainder of this school year. The N.C. General Assembly returns to session next week and is likely to pass legislation that will be helpful to schools.

Within the capacity of forthcoming state laws, rules and regulations, Nolte said the school system fully intends to continue learning opportunities and food distribution. Administration is also working on final grading guidance, ways to honor graduating seniors, and ways to address learning gaps for students who did not, or could not, access learning during the closure. Details will be provided when available. 

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