Exploris Reopening Updates

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February 24:

On March 8, we will begin our Plan B hybrid instruction model!  Each grade level will be on-campus for one week (Monday – Thursday) on a 3-week rotation, you can see the attached calendar for more details. Parents please check your emails for crew lists and other specific information.

Parent FAQ for Exploris Plan B

Plan B 2020-2021 Calendar


February 23 update from Exploris Leadership:

Good afternoon!

The Reopening Task Force met last night, and with careful consideration of the new CDC guidelines, we have decided to transition to our Plan B hybrid model beginning March 8th. (The rubric is attached.). Families will always have the option to elect to stay in remote learning if that is the preferred choice for your family.

We are excited about entering Plan B. This is uncharted territory for everyone, but we have been working diligently over the last several months to prepare for a safe return to school. We’re really looking forward to being able to see so many of you in person! Plan B will be on a 3-week rotation. All the details are below.

We are hosting two parent information sessions about Plan B to answer any of your questions. Please join us at 6:30pm on either February 25th or March 2nd. The Zoom links will be sent out on the day of each event.

You will receive a separate email in the next day or two reminding of you which option you chose: to stay 100% virtual or to come to school to  participate in the hybrid model.

If you chose to stay 100% virtual you can expect the following:

  • Each grade level will be on-campus for one week (Monday – Thursday) on a 3-week rotation beginning March 8th. You can see the attached calendar for more details
  • When your grade is in-person, students will have work to complete virtually. Each student will also have the opportunity to check in with a staff person live each day, but the bulk of the work will be asynchronous.
  • When your grade is not in-person, virtual learning will continue just like it is now
  • Fridays will be virtual for all students every week
  • The deadline to switch to the hybrid model is Monday, March 1st. Please email Amanda amanda@exploris.org if this is a CHANGE from you original option. We will accommodate this request if space is available in that grade level.

If you chose the hybrid model, you can expect the following:

  • Each grade level will be on-campus for one week (Monday – Thursday) on a 3-week rotation beginning March 8; you can see the attached calendar for more details
  • When your grade is not in-person, virtual learning will continue just like it is now
  • Fridays will be virtual for all students every week
  • You may switch to 100% virtual at any time by emailing Amanda at amanda@exploris.org
  • We need to change the dismissal time in order to make this work
  • Arrival times: 7:45-8:15 for middle school and 8:10-8:30 for elementary
  • Dismissal times have changed: 2:00-2:15 for middle school and 2:15-2:30 for elementary
  • Carpool is drive-up only
  • All students must stay in the car until they can have their temperatures taken by a staff member
  • Students cannot be admitted into the school building until this screening has taken place
  • Students who are ill or have a fever will need to be taken home by the responsible adult
  • No walk ups; students cannot be dropped off at a different location and walk up to school
  • We will follow our COVID-19 Protocols. These include:
    • Everyone must wear a mask at all times, covering both mouth and nose, except while eating or drinking (this includes during recess)
    • Everyone must stay at least 6 feet apart at all times
    • Water fountains are closed and bathrooms are single occupancy only
    • Students will be asked to wash their hands repeatedly and use hand sanitizer
    • Class sizes will be smaller (11 or fewer at elementary, 15 or fewer at middle)
    • Students will stay in one classroom throughout the day; teachers will rotate among the groups
    • Outside time will be provided daily (weather permitting)
  • School will look different:
    • Students will stay in one room, at one seat for that day
    • Students will have frequent stretch breaks at their desks and where possible, lunch, breaks, recess, and even some class activities will happen outside
    • Teachers will rotate from room to room to teach the different subjects and lead activities
    • Group work will not happen unless students can work and maintain 6 feet of distance
  • In the coming days you can expect to receive the following information via email:
    • Confirmation for which learning model you selected
    • An Attestation Form for you to complete regarding COVID symptoms
    • An Agreement Form that you and your student/s will follow the safe school guidelines. If any student cannot or will not follow the guidelines, we will call home and ask to have the student picked up immediately and returned to virtual learning. We will need to strictly enforce this; the safety of all our students and our teachers depend on every student following the guidelines at all times. 
    • Additional logistics

An Opportunity!

  • We are hiring one or more people to work as a dedicated substitute supervising a learning center for our staff’s Exploris students who need to be on-site while their parent is working.
  • If you or someone you know would be interested in this opportunity, and able to start on March 8th, please let us know!
  • We are also looking to expand our substitute teaching pool; if you or someone you know would like to apply to substitute teach, please contact Michelle Parkerson at mparkerson@exploris.org
Thank you for your ongoing support! We’re excited to see our students soon!

August 6:

The first day of school is rapidly approaching and our teachers, staff, and leadership team have been hard at work preparing. This email contains 4 important things:
1. Please complete the Technology Survey one time for each student you have at Exploris. We have heard from 194 students so far.
2. Here are the school supply lists. Thank you for your patience as we revised them to reflect the 100% remote learning environment for Plan C.
3. The first day of school is August 19th. We have created a Family Handbook for Remote Learning which includes information such as schedules, attendance, and important dates.
4. You are invited to our Drive Through Meet the Teacher Event:
When: August 17th from 4pm – 6pm
Where: Elementary Campus parking circle
What: Meet your crew teacher and receive any
supplies you might need to start the year
Note: Please turn right off Swain Street to enter the parking lot. Enter Swain Street by turning right off of Hargett Street.
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August 1:

Dear Exploris Families,

Happy August!  In just a few weeks we will be welcoming students back  for the 2020-2021 school year!

Exploris School Newsletter August 2020

Please see the August Newsletter for important information about:
  • 1st Day of School Wednesday, Aug. 19th
  • Meet the Teacher Night Monday, Aug. 17th
  • Home Technology Survey  to make sure everyone can connect from the very first day
  • and more!
In the next few weeks we will be sending out crew lists, supply lists, and other information and updates to get everybody ready for a great kickoff.
Please reach out to Leadership@Exploris.org for any questions.
Enjoy these final days of summer 
and we can’t wait to see you!

Deborah M. Brown B.S., M.A., NBCT ELA/AYA
Associate Director, Middle School

The Exploris School

July 26: Calendar

Looking for the 2020-21 school calendar? The first day of school for Exploris is Wednesday, August 19. The PDF and Google Calendars are currently posted on the PTO website, and are up to date! Visit:  https://explorispto.org/calendar/

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July 20: Map and Directory

Screenshot (19)The Exploris Family Map and School Directory form is now open.  We hope families will opt-in to have their contact information listed on the map and/or the directory.  These two resources are managed by the PTO and provide ways for Exploris families to connect, form carpools, study groups, playgroups, etc.

The map and directory will be updated daily as more people fill out the form.

We ask that you fill out the form by July 30 if possible.  More info. 


July 17: Big announcement

Exploris Opening on Plan C+!

Following Gov. Cooper’s announcement that North Carolina schools have the ability to choose between Plan B or Plan C, depending on their individual situation, the Interim Leadership Team and the Reopening Task Force met this week to discuss our options.

Looking at all the available metrics, including Covid data and input from staff and family surveys, we have decided that The Exploris School will open the 2020-2021 school year in Plan C, with some modifications for in-person experiences. We are calling this Plan C+!

We are committed to a safe reopening and will revisit the metrics throughout the fall to see if we can safely transition to Plan B at the end of the 1st trimester. Our goal is to get everyone back to in person, day to day learning– we dearly miss seeing all our students– as soon as we can do so safely. If you have not done so already, please complete the family survey so we can build our crews in anticipation of Plan B.

We are sensitive to the conflicting concerns of our school community, and we know that many of you were hoping for Plan B. At this point, like many neighboring school districts, we felt the safety concerns weighed more heavily, and we are confident in our ability to deliver a quality program, even in digital form, and to provide some optional much smaller and safer interactions.

We will be sending out more information shortly with specifics about what our remote learning program will look like and how we will be supporting students and families. We know you will have a lot of questions! We have spent weeks reflecting on our digital learning program from last spring and making adjustments to improve. Plan C+ will be a robust virtual school with attendance, grading, Global Arts, and more.

Thank you all for your voices, your patience, and your flexibility throughout this whole spring and summer, and we look forward to continuing to work with you as we face these challenges.

The Exploris School Leadership Team
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July 15: Family Choice Form

The Exploris Interim Leadership Team and the Reopening Task Force requests that all families please complete the Reopening School Family Choice Form no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, July 20th.  

This is the form where you can request that your student remain in 100% remote learning, even if the Exploris team decides we can open under Plan B (where students alternate between on-campus classes for 2 weeks and then are at home with remote learning for two weeks).
Here are links to several documents to help guide your decision:
Governor Cooper announced on 7/14 that schools can open under hybrid/Plan B, but we will meet as a team and decide if that decision is also in the best interests of our Exploris families and staff.  We plan to make our choice for Exploris within a few days of the Governor’s announcement and we will communicate that to all our families through multiple channels.
Thank you for all your support, input, and trust through these impossibly difficult decisions.
-The Exploris Interim Leadership Team

Fall 2020 School Reopening FAQ

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