Iredell-Statesville Schools officials announced Thursday that students in grades 6-12 will return to campus for in-person instruction beginning April 7.

“We are grateful to Governor Cooper and our elected officials for their support of a full return to school,” Superintendent Jeff James said in a news release. “Our students need to be in school five days a week.”

The governor signed Senate Bill 220 into law on March 11, 2021, clearing the way for students across the state to return to school.

I-SS tudents in grades K-5 have been in school five days a week since October 2020.

Parents of students in middle and high school will receive a commitment form in the coming days. That form will ask that families make a decision for either Plan A or Plan C for their student.

Families can either return to school five days a week or they can choose to complete the school year virtually five days a week. A hybrid schedule will no longer be an option beginning April 7.

Currently, between 15 to 20 percent of I-SS students have chosen a full virtual schedule.

However, district officials are hopeful that the majority of the students will decide to return to campus beginning April 7.

In order to operate on Plan A, I-SS officials has assured the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services that the district will adhere to guidelines that include a protocol for social distancing, mask-wearing, and hygiene.

“We believe that school is the safest place for our students to be right now,” James said. “We’ve been able to bring our younger students back to school full-time for months now with minimal spread of COVID-19. We continue to work with the ABC Science Collaborative to gather data, readdress our protocols, and mitigate the spread of the virus.”

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