Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Spike in Covid cases triggers switch to remote-only school

Henderson County public schools will “Return to Learn” after the holiday break on Thursday under Plan C – the remote only learning model, the School Board decided in a special called meeting on Monday as members cited the surge in Covid-19 infections.


Students will attend class under Plan C through at least Jan. 31, with the goal of resuming hybrid and in-person learning on Feb. 1. As discussed in December, January’s regularly scheduled School Board meeting will consider implementing Plan A (fully in-person) for grades K-5 and Plan B (hybrid) for grades 6-12 on February 1. “Return to Learn” plans will continue to be evaluated and refined based on the public health in our community, and any additional changes and transitions will be communicated to families.

“Our priority has always been the health and safety of our students and Covid,” School Board Chair Blair Craven said. “With this in mind, remote learning is the wisest option at this time, as we see Covid-19 cases continue to spike in our region. As always, we will continue to work alongside the Henderson County Department of Public Health in monitoring the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services data so our district plans support the stabilization of public health in our community.”

While operating under Plan C, HCPS will suspend updating the Covid-19 District Dashboard with school-affected cases, since in-person learning will not be occurring.

As in the beginning of the school year, remote learning will consist of live, virtual whole class sessions. Students will attend school remotely and simultaneously with their peers on a half-day online schedule with independent assignments for the afternoon. Daily attendance will be taken and student grading expectations will look similar to in-person expectations.

For students in Grades K-5, remote learning will occur from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. following individual teachers’ classroom schedules. For students in Grades 6-12, remote learning will occur from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., following the school’s in-person half day bell schedule. Afternoons will be reserved for virtual small group work or individual support.

The district and the Henderson County Education Foundation continue to work with local organizations to identify resources to support accessibility – including the map of locations offering free WiFi use for HCPS students, located online at

For those families that are still unable to access remote learning digitally, students will be provided with either hotspot access and/or paper and text-based alternative assignments. Families should contact their school’s principal for more information about this option.

Academic Support

Tech Support: Families can click the “Tech Support for Learn From Home” button at the top of the HCPS district and school web pages to access troubleshooting tips and videos, as well as contact information for the “Learn from Home Help Desk.” The Help Desk continues to offer a dedicated phone line for tech support for students and families in multiple languages. Call 828-435-3480 or email

ESL Family Center: For assistance in Spanish, families can contact the ESL Family Liaison at 828-388-2632.

Child Nutrition Services

HCPS will continue providing reliable student meals during implementation of the fully remote learning model. As during the beginning of the school year, HCPS will provide grab-and-go pickup meals at no cost to children ages 2-18 at specific school sites and at scheduled “Meals On the Bus” stops. The “Child Nutrition Services on Plan C” Google Document will be shared with families on Tuesday, Jan. 5 and published online at

Child Care Services

HCPS will offer its all-day Child Care Services at select locations to the public, prioritizing care for children of Healthcare Workers, Frontline First Responders, and Essential Workers. Locations, schedules, and required registration links will be shared with families on Tuesday, Jan. 5.


The N.C. High School Athletics Association has not issued any new guidance restricting activity. Since athletics are considered a voluntary extracurricular activity for students, HCPS middle and high school athletics will continue at this time. The district will continue to follow NCHSAA recommendations for game play, including health department-directed screenings, contact tracing and team quarantines if necessary.

Families can continue to expect the most recent updates on HCPS’ “Return to Learn” plans through the “R2L Weekly” communications posted each Thursday at 5 p.m. The webpage will also be updated to reflect Plan C details.