Dare County Board of Education votes parent choice on masks; will offer virtual option

[Photo courtesy North Carolina Department of Public Instruction]

The Dare County Board of Education voted Thursday night to make face masks optional for all students, staff and visitors when the school year begins Aug. 23.

Other board decisions about the new school year include:

  • Dare County Schools will also offer a virtual option to K-12 students for the first semester of the 2021- 2022 school year. The virtual program will not be available to preschool students or students who are in the Dual Langauge Immersion Program.
  • Once the virtual registration process is completed, parents who elect the virtual option for their child will remain in the program throughout the entire semester. In addition, once the virtual registration deadline passes, there will be no new students accepted into the program. The board anticipates making a determination on the virtual option for the second semester at or before the December 2021 board meeting.
  • The school district will not adopt vaccination-promoting strategies that are in the NCDHHS toolkit. The district may continue the practice to make school facilities available on non-instructional days to county health officials if necessary.
  • The school district will not monitor/deploy the daily health screening attestation (text) system that was in place last school year.
  • The school system will maintain temperature check stations at all school entrances and monitor temperature checks of students, staff, and visitors entering the building.
  • Social distancing on school buses will not be enforced. Per a CDC order in the United States, all students who ride school buses must wear a cloth face covering.
  • 8he school district will not adopt on-site COVID-19 testing strategies and programs that are in the NCDHHS toolkit.
  • The school district will not collect staff and student vaccination data.

Parents will receive a virtual registration email on Monday morning (8/9) with all of the virtual program details. With the start of the school year fast approaching, the registration timeline will be Monday, August 9 to Wednesday, August 11 at 5 p.m.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.