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School system shares additional plans for two-week closure

Beaufort County Schools has announced further plans for a two-week closure of the school system after N.C. Governor Roy Cooper ordered K-12 schools to close as a safeguard against COVID-19.

According to BCS Superintendent Matthew Cheeseman, Monday will be a mandatory workday for all BCS employees as school remains closed to students. Parents will be able to get meals for their students via drive-thru style setups at the local elementary schools.

The work day applies to all BCS employees. Administrators, teachers, teacher assistants, counselors, school nurses, school nutrition staff, bus drivers, custodians, and all other personnel should report directly to their work site by 8 a.m.

“As you know, the governor of North Carolina has ordered all school systems to close for the next two weeks,” Cheeseman said in a phone message to parents and staff on Sunday. “ There remain many unanswered questions for students, families and staff so please continue to be patient and we will update you as quickly as possible.”

While schools are closed to students, BCS will offer free breakfast and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday for the next two weeks.

This lunch will available in a drive-thru style setting so visitors may remain in their vehicles and move through the line quickly. Parents and family members may pick up these meals for their students whether or not the students are with them. Staff will just need the names of the students receiving the meals.

The locations for these meals include Northeast Elementary School, Eastern Elementary School, John Cotton Tayloe Elementary School, Chocowinity Primary School and S.W. Snowden Elementary School.

The Beaufort County Board of Education will hold an emergency meeting Monday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. to discuss plans for staff for the next week and possibly beyond as the school system awaits further direction from the governor’s office, the state board of education and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

At this time, the school system has not any guidance about student make-up days, end of year testing or spring break.

Additionally, Bright Futures of Beaufort County is working with the school system to help provide for student needs during the closure. Anyone wishing to help in that effort can make cash donations to Bright Futures (checks payable to WBC Chamber Foundation – Bright Futures). Checks can be mailed to WBC Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 665, Washington NC 27889.