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Hyde County superintendent: Smaller student body is a “real advantage” for upcoming year

The Hyde County school district is the smallest in the state, which superintendent Steve Basnight says will work to their advantage during the upcoming school year.
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 10:32 AM EDT
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HYDE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - More districts are finalizing their back to school plans. Hyde County announced the district is moving forward with Plan B, which is the mix of remote and in person learning.

The district is the smallest in the state, which superintendent Steve Basnight says will work to their advantage during the upcoming school year.

“We can actually bring in our population almost completely based on the square footage in each of our classrooms and still be able to do social distancing at six feet per student, so that’s a real advantage to us,” said Basnight.

Basnight says transporting students who are coming to school for face-to-face instruction will also be easier because of the smaller number of students who will be riding on the bus.

“We sent out several surveys to our staff and parents to get input. What we received so far in relation to our buses is that a lot of parents are not comfortable yet putting their kids on the bus, which has reduced the number of kids we’re going to have on the bus. That’s going to enable us to put one student per seat, unless they are in the same family,” said Basnight.

Although there is already less children in the classroom compared to other districts across the state, Basnight says they are still going to adhere to state guidelines when it comes to school activities.

“We’re going to shy away from any kind of communal gathering like assemblies where you have a large number of kids. Even with class changes, we’re going to stagger so everybody doesn’t end up in the hall at the same time,” Basnight explained.

Basnight says the same is true when it comes to sports, clubs and after-school activities.

“If it’s something that we can do for the students, we’re going to do that. If it’s something that isn’t safe based on CDC guidelines and what we’re getting from North Carolina DHHS, we’re not going to do that right now,” Basnight said.

The district has roughly 591 students.

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