Reopening Updates

Reopening Updates

April 3rd Update

We are incredibly excited to have K-12 students returning this coming week! 
Some reminders as we head back:

Drop-off is between 8:00 - 8:30.  Daily screening at the curb are no longer recommended by NCDHHS, but we do require all families to complete this attestation related to home screening. 

Pick-up is 2:55 for elementary and 3:05 for middle school and high school.  Please have your car rider number in big, bold numbers on your front windshield, passenger side.  Car rider numbers were sent to families directly via email -- to ES on March 12th and to MS and HS on March 26th.

Face Coverings
Remember your mask.  Masks must be worn at all times on campus, inside and outside the building.  The only exceptions are at lunch when actively eating, quick water sips during the day, and teacher-facilitated mask breaks outside.


Water Bottle
Our water fountains are closed for Covid safety reasons, but all of our water bottle refilling stations are up and running.

March 26th Update

Change in Drop-Off Procedure
The NC Department of Health and Human Services is keeping us on our toes!  As of their March 23rd update to the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit, they no longer recommend daily health screenings of students upon entry to school.  Accordingly, Woods will no longer require families to show a Greenlight badge at the curb, and students will no longer have their temperatures taken daily at the entrance.

It is still vital that parents screen their children for symptoms daily and keep their children home if they have Covid symptoms, have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid, have been diagnosed with Covid, or have been asked to quarantine.

We are now requiring all parents/guardians of Woods students who will be attending in-person learning for any portion of the remaining 2020-2021 school year to complete this form, in which they agree to follow these guidelines.  

March 22nd Update

K-5 Plan A Clarification
On April 5th, K-5 will transition to Plan A with in-person learning on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  See Friday's Principal's Letter below.

Although Plan A no longer requires six-feet distancing, we will be setting up K-5 classrooms with at least three-feet distancing, with students facing the same direction.  Lunch in the Great Room will still include six-feet distancing for all grades K-12.

After this week, Plan B will no longer be an option for students in grades K-5.  If you had opted for Plan B, we will assume you are returning under Plan A, but if you would like to be Plan C, please complete the change form.  If you had previously chosen Plan C, we will assume you're remaining in Plan C, but if you would like to be in Plan A, then please complete the change form.

March 19th Update

March 19, 2021

Hello Woods Families,

For those of you who follow local politics, you know that last week the General Assembly passed SB 220/SL 2021-4, which outlined an expedited time frame by which public schools must return to in-person learning. The law purposefully did not apply to public charter schools, so our school has stayed on track with the reopening plan published last month. 

On Monday of this week the State Board of Education called a special session.  One action they took in that session was to “operationalize” some of the mandates in SL 2021-4 for all public schools (charters, labs, and traditional public schools).  The Office of Charter Schools at the Department of Public Instruction held a call with charter school leaders yesterday afternoon to clarify which requirements actually apply to NC charter schools.

The information provided has been very confusing to decipher, but here are the take-aways for Woods:

  • By April 5th we must provide an in-person option for all students.  (Previously, our plan had grades 7-12 returning April 12th.  Now all students will return by Monday, April 5th.  3rd and 4th grades will still return this coming Monday as scheduled.)
  • Elementary (ES) must be in school under Plan A for four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday).  Students may stay in full-time remote (Plan C), but Plan B is no longer an option for K-5.  As a plan, Plan A has all Covid safety protocols in place, except that six-feet social distancing is no longer required. 
  • Middle School (MS) and High School (HS) must attend under Plan B – and cannot, at this time, attend under Plan A.
  • Although 5th grade at Woods is part of MS, for these purposes they are considered ES and must return under Plan A (four days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday).
  • Students must attend for a full day, not an abbreviated day.  (Previously, our Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday schedule had a dismissal at 2:00, which allowed teachers to hold an extra session from 2:30 - 3:20 for Plan C remote students.  We will now dismiss at 2:55 for elementary only and 3:05 for MS and HS.)
  • For families who need to stay in remote, Plan C will remain an option.

We are at work now quickly revising plans and schedules.  We are also making changes to the published FAQ.  We will have more details in the days ahead, but we wanted families to have as much time as possible to start digesting these changes.

If, after seeing these changes, you need to switch the plan you’re requesting, you may do so here.

Bus service is currently suspended, but we would like to resume bus routes later in April.  If you are interested in bus service, please complete this survey.

As a school we remain grateful for all the help, flexibility, and grace that families have extended this year.  For those of us who have not fully internalized the old maxim that “Change is the only constant,” this year seems intent on making that lesson stick.

With hope,

Cotton Bryan

March 18th Update

The WCS Board's regular March meeting is tonight at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting was originally planned to be in person at the school.  Given the possibility for severe weather this afternoon and evening, we are conducting the meeting via Zoom.  

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 859 4910 6415
Passcode: Hp7qy6

March 16th Update

A recording of last night's MS/HS Parent Info Session is here.

REMINDER: MS and HS parents/guardians must complete this formal attestation letting us know whether their student will return under Plan B or Plan C by this Friday, March 19th at 6:00 p.m.

March 15th Update

MS/HS Parent Info Session
A reminder that the MS/HS Parent Info Session (concerning Plan B) is tonight at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 848 0318 5344
Passcode: E4t1vw

WCS Board Meeting
The WCS Board will hold its regular March meeting this Thursday at 7:00 p.m., in person, at the school.  The Board will discuss reopening plans in light of S.L. 2021-4.  If you plan to attend, please let us know here so that we can arrange the room properly for social distancing.  The meeting will either be in the Glade or the Great Room (depending on RSVP numbers).  The Board invites public comment via email ( or in person at the meeting.

March 4, 2021 Update

A reminder that we need a formal attestation from all elementary parents, identifying whether they choose Plan B or C, by Friday, March 5th at 6:00 p.m.
The form is here.

For elementary families unable to attend last night's parent info session, a recording is here.

February 25th Update

A video message from Principal Cotton Bryan about next steps for reopening is here.

Elementary Parent Info Session (about Plans B/C) is Wednesday, March 3rd at 6 p.m. via Zoom.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 859 0014 0408
Passcode: 0X3bzJ

Middle School and High School Parent Info Session (about Plan B/C) is Monday, March 15th at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 848 0318 5344
Passcode: E4t1vw

IMPORTANT:  We need parents/guardians to let us know officially which plan (Plan B or Plan C) they choose for their children using this form.  Deadline for elementary is Friday, March 5th by 6:00 p.m.  Deadline for Middle School and High School is Friday, March 19th at 6:00 p.m.

February 23rd Update

Reopening Volunteer Form
Help us make reopening work smoothly!  As we implement Plan B, we are going to need lots of help with . . . 
1) morning health screenings, 
2) lunch/recess supervision, and 
3) elementary classroom teacher assistance.

Volunteer form is here.

Classroom Facilitator
We are also looking for Classroom Facilitators.  The job description for that position is here.

February 22nd Update

Chatham News & Record's article on our last board meeting is here.

February 19th Update

At last night's meeting the WCS Board approved a recommendation from the Admin Team that we offer in-person instruction, following this schedule:

Grades K-2 return under Plan B March 15th,
Grades 3-4 return under Plan B March 22nd,
Grades 5-6 return under Plan B April 5th,
Grades 7-12 return under Plan B April 12th.

Families may remain in Plan C (Remote Instruction) if they choose.

A summary of the Principal's case for reopening is here.

February 12th Update

February Board Meeting

The WCS Board will holds its regular February board meeting on Thursday, February 18th at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom (link below).  In addition to regular reports from the principal and board subcommittees, the board will take up these items of business:

  • a preliminary budget for 2021-22,
  • reopening plans for school,
  • a small revision to our Beginning Teacher Support Plan required by DPI,
  • the head of school evaluation results.

To facilitate additional opportunities for shared communication at virtual School Board meetings, members of the public are invited to present comments.  Those wishing to speak may sign up on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 7:00 p.m on the evening of the meeting by using the Board’s Zoom meeting chat feature. Public comment will occur at the beginning of the meeting, and each comment will be limited to 2 minutes with the total comment period limited to 24 minutes. In the near future, the Board plans to also provide the opportunity for published written public comment.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 735 1049 4497
Passcode: X9mhjp

February 10th Update

Our school board met last night to discuss reopening plans.  They decided not to vote -- and instead to wait until their regular February meeting on the 18th.

A prep document from the principal to the board is here.

If you missed the meeting and would like to watch, then you may view it here.

February 3rd Update

The WCS Board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, February 9th at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom to discuss reopening.  (Please see Feb. 2nd update below.)  The board invites public comment prior to the meeting via email at  

Topic: WCS Board Meeting ~ Feb. 9th
Time: Feb 9, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 779 4275 9947
Passcode: ZV9SG0

February 2nd Update

The WCS Board will hold a special meeting next week (exact date/time t.b.d. and t.b.a.) to discuss yesterday's news conference by Governor Cooper, Dr. Mandy Cohen, and our new State Superintendent Catherine Truitt in which they announced a significant shift in their guidance and recommendations for in-person instruction for K-12 students. 

The updated Strong Schools Public Health Toolkit  describes those changes in detail -- but, in short, the recommendation is that elementary students return to in-person instruction five days a week, while ms and hs return to the greatest extent allowed while maintaining six-feet distancing.  The recommendations reflect a consensus among doctors and public health specialists at the federal (Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC), state (Dr. Cohen and the NCDHHS), and local (the ABC Collaborative) levels that has determined that in-person instruction can be done safely so long as schools follow the guidelines/protocols with fidelity.

January 22nd Update

At its January 21st meeting, the WCS Board voted to extend remote learning for grades 1-12 until at least March 1st, since the key Covid metrics for our area remain very high.

December 18th Update

At its December meeting the WCS Board agreed to remain in remote instruction for grades 1-12 until February 1st.  If we see a substantial improvement in Covid metrics (which are currently trending in a more severe, more dangerous direction) then we would like to allow elementary students to return in February, followed two weeks later by middle school students.   We would hope for high school to return at the start of the third trimester.

The WCS Board and Admin Team will monitor conditions, and the board will make a decision at its January 21st meeting.

December 8th Update

Your feedback is requested! As we continue to try to meet the needs of students and families in the midst of challenging circumstances, we would like your input on our current Plan C. 

Feedback is requested by the end of the December.

Survey for Parents

Survey for Students in Grades 5-12

November 20th Update

At its meeting last night, the WCS Board voted to continue remote instruction until February 1st for grades 1-12.  Kindergarten will remain on a hybrid schedule.

November 19th Update

The WCS Board held a special session last night to review survey data and deliberate on the matter of reopening.  Some slides (capturing survey data and Covid metrics) from the meeting are here.

November 4th Update

Reopening Surveys

The Reopening Team and the WCS Board would like to hear from our community on the subject of reopening.  Please complete the relevant surveys by November 11th.  (Survey takes approx. 2-3 minutes to complete.)

  • If you have students in both K-5 and 6-12, then please complete separate surveys.
  • If you are a WCS faculty member and a WCS parent, then please complete separate surveys (one as a parent, one as a faculty member).
  • One relevant survey per parent/per student -- not one survey per household.
  • Surveys ask for email address to prevent multiple submissions, but survey data will be shared anonymously with the Reopening Team and WCS Board.

The Student Survey (for students in grades 6-12)

The K-5 Parent Survey

The 6-12 Parent Survey

The Faculty Survey

Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts and insight.

November 3rd Update

The Plan A/B plans that we reviewed at last night's town hall meeting are here.

A video recording of the town hall meeting is here.

October 27th Video Update

A video update from our principal, Cotton Bryan, is here.


October 19th Update

Reopening Woods ~ A Timeline for Next Steps

Please note: The Woods community is welcome to submit public comment to the Woods Board regarding the re-opening plan at any point in this process by emailing All comments will be shared with the re-opening committee.


Oct. 21st      
Reopening Team reconvenes

A group of teachers and admin will continue to fine-tune the Plans A/B.  (Draft of A/B plans is here.)  Reopening Team members will seek ideas and feedback from division faculty on specific parts of the plan.

Oct. 19th – Nov. 2nd         
Board Communications Committee and Admin Team revise surveys for faculty, families, students


Oct. 22nd – 30th                
Faculty and Admin complete revisions of Plans A/B

November 2nd                  
Plans A/B published to families
Town Hall Meeting to “walk though” plans with Woods Community, 7:00 p.m.

Nov. 4th – 11th                   
New round of surveys to faculty, families, students

A similar set of questions as we have asked before, but will include surveying related to Plan A for elementary families.  This time, faculty survey will link faculty to their primary division and provide a process for faculty to identify specifically if they are unable to return to school under a Plan A or B.  This round will include a survey specific to students.

Friday, Nov. 13th             
Survey results and current COVID metrics to WCS Board

If we are able to obtain more data on the experience of other schools that have reopened under Plan A/B then that will also be included.

Monday, Nov. 16th          
Reopening Team meets to make recommendation

Wednesday, Nov. 18th   
Special Session of WCS Board to consider reopening, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 19th       
Regular November WCS Board meeting, 7:00 p.m.


September 18th Update

At its September meeting, the WCS Board considered what plan (plan B or C) the school should follow after October 2nd.  The Board received a recommendation from the school's Admin Team that we continue with remote instruction for grades 1-12 until Winter Break.  The Board voted 3-2 to accept this recommendation.

The Principal's Board Report is here.

The excerpt that specifically addresses the issue of reopening is here.

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