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DPS to Begin 2020-21 With 9 Weeks of Online Instruction


At tonight’s meeting of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education, and in response to teacher, staff, and community concerns over the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Pascal Mubenga recommended to the Durham Public Schools Board of Education that the 2020-21 school year begin with full remote instruction (“Plan C”) for the first nine weeks.

“There are strong arguments for both our Plan B, which allowed pre-K-8 families to choose remote or in-person instruction, and also for Plan C, which offers our students and staff greater protection from COVID-19,” said Dr. Mubenga. “My conversations with our teachers and hearing their concerns tipped the scale. They assured me that they were up to the challenge of remote instruction, and I know they will deliver.”

The school board approved the recommendation unanimously.

While DPS is in Plan C, students will receive instruction and support through their base or magnet schools’ teachers and staff, with a robust live and personalized learning experience similar to that planned for Ignite Learning Academy. Families that signed up for Ignite Learning Academy will not need to do anything new; they will automatically be supported by their current or assigned school.

DPS will work with local and state public health authorities to identify metrics that would permit the school district to move to Plan B and re-open for in-person instruction, and will continue to work with community partners and local/state government to identify safe ways to provide extended support for students and families at risk by not being able to attend school in person. All DPS students will be issued Chromebooks for at-home learning and will be providing hotspots for students needing internet connectivity.