State Board Issues Guidance on Personnel, Facility Matters for COVID-19 Closure

Raleigh, NC

TO: Superintendents and Charter School Leaders
FROM: Eric C. Davis, Chairman, N.C. State Board of Education
DATE: March 16, 2020

EXECUTIVE ORDER 117 GUIDANCE FOR PERSONNEL MATTERS & SCHOOL FACILITIES

As you know, on March 14, 2020, Gov. Roy Cooper entered Executive Order No. 117 Prohibiting Mass Gatherings and Directing the Statewide Closure of K-12 Public Schools to Limit the Spread of COVID-19. Section 2 of the Executive Order directs that "all public schools close for students effective Monday, March 16, 2020, until March 30, 2020, unless extended beyond that date."

Personnel Matters

This Executive Order contemplates that public school facilities be closed as instructional settings for K-12 students. Under Section 2 of Executive Order 117 and consistent with direction from and consultation with the Office of the Governor, weekdays between March 16 to March 30, 2020 are to be designated by default as "optional teacher work days" for employees. All staff remain in work status and are eligible to be paid. Local boards of education have the flexibility to designate days during the school closure period as mandatory teacher workdays or annual leave days. School districts may also exercise their local authority and rearrange their school calendar and designate days as annual leave days as needed.

To the extent feasible, local boards of education and school leaders should provide opportunities for employees to work remotely during the school closure period and/or reassign employees to safe work environments with appropriate assigned tasks.

The Department's Division of School Business is available to provide assistance with any technical questions you may have

Facility Use

Local boards of education and school leaders can continue to use public school facilities for approved uses such as instructional planning, the provision of childcare, and delivery of nutrition programs and other social services necessary to preserve and maintain the

health, safety, educational needs, and well-being of children during the school closure period. Facility usage must be consistent with other aspects of the Executive Order, including the provisions prohibiting mass gatherings of greater than 100 individuals, and take into account any future directives that may issue via executive orders or federal mandate. Local school districts and charter school leaders should also seek guidance from local boards of health and emergency management.1

The Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education will continue to work with our partners across state and federal government to mitigate the impacts of closure. Further guidance regarding personnel-related issues and instructional days and hours will be provided as the present circumstances evolve.

We appreciate your flexibility during these challenging times, and we thank you for your continued service to students and their families.

 

1 Section 1, Paragraph b of Executive Order 117 states "mass gathering does not include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, or other spaces where 100 or more persons may be gathered. It also does not include office environments, schools, restaurants, factories, grocery stores or other retail establishments." Paragraph b is aimed at situations where under normal operating conditions 100 or more people may be in the same location but not at a coordinated event or convening.

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