Plan B Beyond: Return to Learn update form Buncombe County Schools

Press release from Buncombe County Schools:

Buncombe County Schools will implement an enhanced version of Return to Learn Plan B. BCS’s Plan B Beyond is a mostly remote learning strategy for all students in grades K-12. There will be a two-week period of in-person onboarding and orientation for students (One week for K-8; Two Weeks for 9-12). Beginning in week three (August 31), all students K-12 will transition to remote learning until September 28. During this six week period, in consultation with local health professionals, we will make a decision regarding the remainder of our schedule this semester.*Please note that if you chose the 100% Remote Only option for your child next semester, they will complete their on boarding and orientation virtually.

“I appreciate our Board of Education and their commitment to communicate and collaborate with our local public health officials throughout this entire period of planning and decision making,” said Dr. Tony Baldwin, BCS Superintendent. “Through this effort, they have maintained a significant priority on the health and safety of our students and staff. We are moving to Plan B Beyond in order to continue to serve our students while keeping our staff and families as safe as possible.”

Other important details are as follows:

  • Students in grades K-8 will have their onboarding week August 17-20.
  • Students in grades 9-13 will have their onboarding for two weeks from August 17-27. This extra time is needed to ensure proper social distancing can be maintained while students are in the building.
  • These school days will begin at 8 a.m. for grades K-8 and 9 a.m. for 9-12, and all schools will operate on a two-hour early dismissal each day.
  • Schools will follow up with families regarding bus transportation and specific scheduling on these days.
  • Friday 8/21 and Friday 8/28 will be REMOTE for ALL students.
  • If parents would prefer to have their child complete their onboarding at home in a virtual setting, simply reach out to your school’s principal to let them know.
  • Our teachers will report to their classrooms in their school building in order to facilitate instruction during the onboarding week and when students transition to remote learning.
  • The YMCA of Western North Carolina has committed to enhancing their childcare options in order to serve more BCS families. In addition to its onsite afterschool programs, the Y will offer full-day care at the YMCA Youth Services Center at Beaverdam and the Reuter Family YMCA during plan B weeks. During Plan C the Y will operate “School’s Out” locations in the Roberson, Reynolds, Enka, and North Buncombe districts for Buncombe County Schools. Please call the YMCA at 828-251-5910 to register.

“Our full-day programs will complement and enrich your child’s learning experience,” says Melissa Wiedeman, VP of Operations, YMCA K-12 Childcare. “Our qualified and caring staff will work closely with students to support their academic goals and to ensure that they complete their virtual classwork daily. Rest assured that we will also continue to operate with thorough health safeguards to keep your child and our staff safe.”

Other Important Details:

  • Our School Nutrition Department will serve breakfast and lunch daily throughout our six districts. We will follow up with more details soon.
  • Face coverings will be required for ALL students and staff while on campus during our onboarding weeks. Masks will be provided to students or staff who need one.
  • Families who have internet challenges may reach out to their school to request a mobile internet hotspot.
  • Any student who may need extra school support will have opportunities for some in-person lessons in September, with consideration for social distancing, face coverings, and good hand hygiene.
  • Many Remote Learning details have been finalized recently. Please read our Remote Learning FAQ for more important updates.

“As I have said many times before, the single most consistent and constant factor associated with COVID-19 has been CHANGE in capital letters,” said Superintendent Baldwin. “Unpredictability has also come to be representative of this current crisis we all are under. A few weeks during the time of COVID19 can feel like an eternity. While we can’t predict what the pandemic will do, I want our parents and staff to know that the difficult decisions we’ve all made in the past few weeks have always kept student safety as our central goal and priority.”

Please visit for more information and specifics about Remote Learning in Buncombe County Schools.

We have revised our 2020-21 Academic Calendar.

We have released a Face Covering Guidelines for the school year.

BCS Board Briefing and Superintendent’s Comments are linked HERE.

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