RCS Response to Covid-19: Historical
Please note that some of this information could be outdated:
Please click HERE for the most up-to-date information!
Masks now optional on RCS school buses, school transportation effective February 28
RCS wants to provide the community with a recent update on COVID-19 that we have received regarding the mask requirement on RCS transportation. Effective February 25, 2022, CDC is exercising its enforcement discretion to not require that people wear masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. CDC is making this change to align with updated guidance that no longer recommends universal indoor mask wearing in K-12 and early education settings based on COVID-19 Community Level.
Therefore, RCS will no longer require masks (effective 02-28-22) on school transportation to align with recent guidance. Face masks will be optional for employees and students on the bus.
Please see this link for more information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/masks/mask-travel-guidance.html
New COVID-19 updates as of 02-27-22 from RCS continue to be posted on the district website.
January 3, 2022
We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you a Happy New Year! We wanted to provide you with some updates for COVID-19 as of December 29, 2021. This procedures will go into effect beginning January 3, 2022:
During the December 10, 2021 board meeting, the RCS Board of Education voted on a policy and made face masks optional for all students and staff beginning January 4, 2022. In addition, all contact tracing would be removed from RCS and this would return to contact tracers affiliated with the Rockingham County Health Department as of January 3, 2022.
Please see below for the information of how RCS will proceed forward with this recent decision voted on by the Board of Education at the December 10, 2021 meeting.
Alert Now Message for Families (Sent January 3, 2022)
We wanted to provide you with some COVID-19 updates as we enter January 2022! During the December 10, 2021 board meeting, the RCS Board of Education voted on the mask policy and made face masks optional in the classroom for K-12 students and staff beginning January 4, 2022. Preschool and HeadStart are still required to wear face coverings as required by the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education. In addition, all students Prek/HS through 12th grade are still required to wear face masks as required by the CDC order on school bus transportation. Early College High School Students or any high school students attending RCC classes are still required to follow the community college guidelines and wear a mask there.
The RCS Board of Education also voted that all contact tracing would be removed from RCS and this would return to contact tracers affiliated with the Rockingham County Health Department as of January 3, 2022. This means that we will no longer conduct contact tracing in RCS by RCS employees. It is important to know since we are no longer asked to contact trace, we are not able to provide any guidance concerning quarantine and/or any identified exposures.
We are still required to monitor and send employees and students home if they experience COVID-19 symptoms. Please do not attend school or work, if you have symptoms. All contact tracing guidelines will come from health department contact tracers (Not RCS Employees) that work with the local health department. If you have a student or an employee is experiencing symptoms or is positive we will need the following information from you to help reflect appropriate records of attendance:
Record of Positive COVID-19 Test (showing positive or negative test result)
Record of required quarantine dates from a health care provider and/or contact tracers (if you received a positive result)
We continue to engage in cleaning and physical distancing as much as possible. We will all continue to work together to navigate COVID-19. Please do not attend school or work, if you have symptoms. Please make sure Thank you for your support.
SUMMER 2021 CASE COUNT CHART- June- August 2022!
September 21, 2021
UPDATE on 09-21-21: RCS received updated guidance and we are now permitted to implement shortened quarantine criteria! Please see the summary here!
Please see below for the RCS Cares About Your Safety Plan 2021-2022. The plan emphasizes that in-person learning is the top priority and also highlights safety precautions that provide a safe and healthy environment for our students, staff, and schools. The RCS Board of Education reviewed and approved the plan and voted at the August 9th Board of Education Meeting at 6:00 p.m. We look forward to a great year for our students!
Please see this link to review the RCS Cares About Your Safety Plan 2021-2022. You may also view it below in the opened google document (A traditional computer may be needed to view the opened google image below in the full form. If you are on a mobile device, you may want use the link above.) Thank you!
CURRENT PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE -September 2021
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Guidance
RCS will continue to follow the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit and we will continue to make ongoing adjustments and modifications based on information from our local health department, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), and North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). We appreciate our partnerships with our local health department and other local medical providers as well as we continue to navigate our way through COVID-19.
Center For Disease Control Guidance
On July 9, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued updated Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools. Key takeaways include:
Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.
Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not currently eligible for vaccination. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies, (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect people who are not fully vaccinated, including students, teachers, staff, and other members of their households.
Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies.
The CDC’s revised school guidance is supported by an accompanying Science Brief, which summarizes the research of COVID-19 among children and adolescents and transmission in schools and among students, families, teachers, and school staff used to shape the updated school guidance.
UPDATE from CDC as of July 27, 2021: To prevent further spread of the Delta variant, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance on Tuesday to recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in areas with "substantial" and "high" transmission of Covid-19, which includes nearly two-thirds of all US counties. The CDC reported that they have observed new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that the Delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause Covid-19. The CDC reported that the new science was concerning and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations. This new unpublished data showing that vaccinated people infected with the Delta coronavirus variant can have as much virus as those who are unvaccinated is the primary driver for the CDC's latest mask guidance change. In addition, it was noted that the two other factors that led to this decision by the CDC were: the prevalence of the Delta variant and low vaccine uptake. When the CDC previously revised its guidance on May 13 for vaccinated people to unmask, Delta only represented 1% of reported infections. Now, according to the CDC, it represents at least 83% of cases.
American Academy of Pediatrics Guidance
Additionally, on July 19, 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released updated guidance for schools that recommends the implementation of a multi-pronged layered approach to reduce viral transmission, including universal masking. The AAP recommendations include:
All eligible individuals should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
It may become necessary for schools to collect COVID-19 vaccine information of staff and students (as done for other immunizations against other highly infectious diseases).
Adequate and timely COVID-19 vaccination resources for the whole school community must be available and accessible.
All students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use).
The AAP recommends universal masking in school at this time for the following reasons:
a significant portion of the student population is not eligible for vaccination protection of unvaccinated students from COVID-19 and to reduce transmission;
lack of a system to monitor vaccine status among students, teachers and staff;
potential difficulty in monitoring or enforcing mask policies for those who are not vaccinated; in the absence of schools being able to conduct this monitoring, universal masking is the best and most effective strategy to create consistent messages, expectations, enforcement, and compliance without the added burden of needing to monitor vaccination status;
possibility of low vaccination uptake within the surrounding school community continued concerns for variants that are more easily spread among children, adolescents, and adults;
An added benefit of universal masking is protection of students and staff against other respiratory illnesses that would take time away from school.
Information from 2020-2021 School Year: (Last School Year). Please see the RCS Cares About Your Safety on the front webpage. This is only historical information!
EXCITING NEWS! We have had a wonderful opportunity through Cone Health to obtain COVID-19 vaccination clinics for our students, ages 12 and above. Cone Health will provide the vaccines for the students at the four traditional high schools on a schedule. Participation is voluntary. There is no charge for the vaccinations; however, we will need signed permission (see this link here for a letter and consent form: http://bit.ly/RCSCONSENTFORM) from each student’s parent or legal guardian that provides consent for their child to allow health officials to administer the Pfizer vaccination. These events are also open to the community and any interested staff who have not received their vaccine.
Here is the schedule of the clinics for the high schools: http://bit.ly/RCSStudentVACCINE
We hope our students and families will take advantage of this and other opportunities offered in our community to protect your child and loved ones from COVID-19 by getting vaccinated.
We are grateful to Cone Health for making this special opportunity possible. If you have any questions, please contact your school principal or your school nurse.
July 21, 2021 RCS Cares About Your Safety Update
NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has released an updated StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit that K-12 schools are asked to follow. This Toolkit just went live as this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. NCDHHS has indicated that these changes will not go into effect until July 30, 2021. We just received these updates as they went live for the general public and are working to understand the updates and prepare implementation guidance for our schools and families. We will also be working with our local health department. We will provide updates as soon as possible once we are able to read and process through these changes. We understand you will want to know what this means for your student and your students’ school and we will share this as soon as we can. You may view the StrongSchoolNC Toolkit that was released this afternoon by NCDHHS by clicking here: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/media/164/open . This toolkit provided by the NC Department of Health and Human Services is provided to K-12 schools for what procedures we are asked to follow. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to better understand these new procedures that were just released from NCDHHS. We will be working with our safety team and our local health department to better understand what this means for RCS. We care greatly for our students and staff and their overall well being and we look forward to our new school year.
New Updates as of May 16, 2021 and May 19, 2021!!
May 16, 2021 COVID-19 Update:
We wanted to provide you an update from the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit. As you are aware, the Governor’s Executive Order 215 provided additional updates and lifting of restrictions for COVID-19. Some of the highlights are listed below:
In accordance with the recent Executive Order 215, face mask requirements have changed for the state of NC. Please note, face masks are still required at schools for all students, workers, teachers, guests, and other adults, and children ages five or older when indoors at all times.
Please see additional COVID-19 updates here: May 16, 2021 COVID-19 Updates
May 6, 2021 COVID-19 Update:
In accordance with the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit and recent Executive Order 209, face mask requirements for outdoors have changed. Please visit the RCS webpage or the link below for new updates that our district will now implement. Safety is a top priority and we appreciate your support as we work very hard to keep everyone safe. We continue to remember to monitor our symptoms prior to coming to school and making sure to engage in safety precautions. Also, we are continuing to make sure to follow the 3 W’s (Wash Hands, Wait 6 feet Apart, and Wear our Face Masks). We will continue to remain vigilant and follow our safety precautions! RCS Cares about your safety! Please see the link here for COVID-19 Updates and information! Thank you for your support!
March 2021 UPDATE: RCS Grades 6-12 will begin in-person learning five days a week beginning March 30, 2021. Remote learning options are still available for students in Grades PreK-12. A remote learning day will also occur on March 29th to allow for staff to receive their second dose (RCS Staff Vaccine Clinic-2nd dose scheduled for 03-28-2021) and to plan for potential side effects that may occur. In addition, the RCS Board of Education approved for Prek through 5th grade students to attend in-person learning five days a week beginning March 22, 2021.
1. Every family must submit a RCS Attestation Form below for each of their children in their family on or before to January 21st! Thank you!
3. Please view the RCS Cares About Your Safety: Our Safe Return to Learn Guidebook!
Leave us some feedback on our RCS Safe Return to Learn Plan- Feedback Form
4. View the RCS Prevention and Response Procedures for COVID-19.
6. Please view the RCS Cares About Your Safety: Our Safe Return to Learn Video to Learn Video (only 4 minutes) video below which details our safety protocols in a quick way!
7. Please view the Our Safe Return to Learn Video Recording (about 20 minutes) and accompanying google slides Safety Protocols Presentation which details safety protocols
8. Please view the Our Safe Return to Learn Master FAQ Document below which is organized for quick reference.
9. Please view the PPE Guidance and Directions Document below that details PPE and equipment received at schools.
10. Please see the updated health screening questions for Elementary and Middle/High School Students. These health screening questions are used when taking students in from buses or car rider lines each day. (These are no longer required for students.)
11. Vaccine Information and Updates:
Rockingham County Schools RCS Cares Team had the vaccine clinic for our staff in March 2021 and it was a great success!
COVID-19 Historical Information Posted On Website Prior to 01-01-2021:
Child Care Survey: Our Safe Return to Learn!
Rockingham County Schools will start the school year on August 17, 2020 on a remote learning plan (Plan C). We understand that child care for your child or children is of the utmost importance. We have created a survey that we hope you will complete for us in order to better provide you with the resources you need to make informed decisions. The survey is available to you on each school’s website and on the RCS website. We hope you will take the time to complete the survey before July 30, 2020. Please see the School Aged Child Care Infographic here that provides you with information about licensed child care centers in each of our school zones. RCS also provides a Kid’s Companion School Aged Child Care Program at 7 of the school system’s elementary schools.
If you are an RCS Parent Survey, please complete this child care survey here: RCS Parent/Guardian Child Care Survey
If you are a RCS Staff Member, please complete this survey if you need child care here: RCS Staff Child Care Survey.
Back to School Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If anyone has any questions, you may place your questions here at this survey! We encourage you to place your questions here and we will update the “Frequently Asked Questions” here so that we can keep you up-to-date! Click here for the FAQ document for anwers to the questions! If you want to add questions to this document, please complete this survey and we will answer your question and update this once a week! Thank you for your support!
July 16, 2020 Our Safe Return to Learn Update!
Our RCS Board of Education met tonight at 5:00 p.m. on July 16, 2020. After reviewing Governor Cooper's Decision
to place all students on Plan B, with careful consideration and thought the Board of Education voted to extend
remote learning (Plan C) for safety for students and staff. This decision to move to Plan C is permitted through the
Governor's Office and this will be extended for five weeks beginning August 17, 2020. This means remote learning
would be in place for all students through September 18, 2020. Dillard Academy is currently on remote learning and
will continue to stay on remote learning through September 18, 2020. In addition, all other schools will be on remote
learning through September 18, 2020. Thank you for your support as we navigate these challenging times. We will
provide more updates as we have them.
Back to School Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Breaking News!July 14, 2020
Today Governor Cooper issued a joint statement with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), the NC State Board of Education (NCSBE) and the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), announcing, the state is moving forward with recommending the implementation of Plan B for reopening schools. RCS will have more information as soon as possible. Please read our RCS Return to Learn Guidebook by clicking here.
RCS PLAN B is: AA Wednesday No School for Cleaning BB all siblings will be on the same day - you will know if your child is an AA (Monday/Tuesday or BB Thursday/Friday) at a later date.
Breaking News! July 13, 2020
Governor Cooper's office has reported to news media that he will give an update on COVID-19 in North Carolina and plans for K-12 public schools during his briefing tomorrow (Tuesday; 07-14-20). The update is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.! We will update you as we have more information! Thank you!
Our Safe Return To Learn Update! July 13, 2020
The Rockingham County Schools Board of Education met today, July 13, 2020 and approved “Our Safe Return To Learn Plan” for re-opening RCS schools! RCS Guide for our Safe Return to Learn: Re-Engage! Re-Connect! Re-Ignite! provides our plan to ensure a safe and successful 2020-2021 school year. You may find more details about this plan by visiting this link or “Our Safe Return To Learn” google page here: https://bit.ly/RCS-Safe-Return! RCS is proactive and prepared as we await the Governor’s announcement and decision for re-opening schools in North Carolina. Thank you for your support! Thank you to each of the stakeholders for the input and feedback that you have and will continue to provide! We appreciate your time and effort as we work to plan our school year together!
If anyone has any questions, you may place your questions here at this survey! We encourage you to place your questions here and we will update the “Frequently Asked Questions” here so that we can keep you up-to-date! Click her for the FAQ document. If you want to add questions to this document, please complete this survey and we will answer your question and update this once a week! Thank you for your support!
Athletics Update! July 13, 2020
The Rockingham County Schools Board of Education and RCS Leadership team met today to discuss the re-entry presentation of athletics and high school volunteer summer workouts (Phase I). After review, the RCS Board of Education voted to allow high school volunteer summer workouts for FALL SPORTS only effective July 14th. Phase I guidelines are provided by the NCHSAA (North Carolina High School Athletic Association). We are excited for our students to return and we cannot wait to see them! You may find more details about safety protocols by visiting this link or “Our Safe Return To Learn” google page here: https://bit.ly/RCS-Safe-Return ! Thank you!
Back to School 2020! UPDATE! July 1, 2020
Governor Cooper made an announcement today to delay making a decision as to whether NC schools are on Plan A, Plan B, or Plan C. Governor Cooper also shared that any school that is a year around school and starting soon will need to begin the school year working remotely.
The RCS Re-Entry Team has been working very hard in planning for all three options (Plan, A, Plan B, and Plan C). We have obtained feedback from students, teachers, and our community. A vision, action plan, goals, and a task list are certainly important, but the reality is this- we know that the most important thing is what we are doing everyday which is working to keep our children and staff safe and to give our students the most optimal learning experience we can in an environment that keeps them safe physically and emotionally. We are the #TheChoiceThatRocks! Thank you so much for your support as we navigate these uncharted waters.
BREAKING NEWS June 30, 2020:
Governor Roy Cooper was expected to announce Wednesday (July 1st) what schools will look like in North Carolina this fall (Plan A, Plan B, Plan C). However, his office said Tuesday night (06-30-2020) he will not make an announcement on how statewide K-12 public schools would open. We will let you know when we have more information.
RCS Back to School 2020! Re-Engage! Re-Connect! Re-Ignite!
Important Information to know before July 1st!
We are excited to provide you information about Back to School 2020! Re-Engage! Re-Connect! Re-Ignite! Our district will provide you updated information on Thursday nights (once a week) on Back to School 2020 beginning July 2, 2020! We have been working hard on getting input from students, staff, parents, and the community about our return to school in Fall 2020! Governor Cooper has provided guidance on three possible plans, one of which NC schools will be required to follow. On July 1st, the Governor will announce the required plan for all NC schools! Please visit www.rock.k12.nc.us for an infographic and link for more information about our safe return to learn.
NC State education and health officials are considering several options for reopening schools in August. They are divided into three categories:
Plan A would reopen schools with minimal social distancing and would be implemented if COVID-19 metrics continue to stabilize or move in a positive direction.
Plan B would require moderate social distancing and 50 percent student capacity in school buildings. This plan would require us to find a way to modify our schedule so that no more than half our students are in the school building at any given time. We would need to implement face to face staggered days with some remote learning from home.
Plan C means there is a significant spread of COVID-19. It would close in-person learning entirely and would require our district to implement remote learning for all students.
RCS wants to provide options for our families no matter what plan is selected by the Governor on July 1st. Therefore, we have a Virtual Learning Option Application (click here) for families that you may complete now if you are interested in registering for a virtual learning option no matter what option the Governor’s office announces on July 1st. If you are interested in this option: please visit our website at www.rock.k12.nc.us and Facebook page for the survey!
Thank you for your support as we all work together as a team to make the new school year a safe return to learn so that we can Re-Engage! Re-Connect! Re-Ignite!
Para mas información visite nuestra pagina web: www.rock.k12.nc.us or visite web:
Important RCS Transportation Survey- Due Friday, July 1
Rockingham County Schools is in the process of collecting transportation plans from our families so we can prepare how best to serve you as we make plans to return to school for the 2020-2021 school year.
You will be receiving a transportation survey from your school principal. This survey is for ALL students, regardless if bus transportation is needed. It can also be accessed at the following link: RCS Transportation Request Survey
Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, Rockingham County Schools is encouraging families to utilize and consider other transportation options before bus transportation is requested. However, if you are in need of bus transportation it will be provided. We ask that one form be completed for each child living in your home that attends a Rockingham County School. Please complete the RCS Transportation Request Survey by Friday, July 1, 2020.
Please contact your child's school if you have any questions.
Kindergarten Registration for 2020-2021:
Due to the school closure for COVID - 19, school offices will be open from 10:00-2:00 on Mondays for parents to pick up kindergarten registration materials to complete. You may contact your school office on Mondays beginning April 13th (April 20th for Dillard Academy) if you have specific questions.