Dear LNC Families,

After careful consideration and thoughtful deliberation, last night the LNC Board of Education voted to shift students to a hybrid learning model (Plan B). Therefore, on Monday, October 12, we will carefully transition our students back to in-person learning two days a week.

As you know, our unwavering goal has been to return students to some level of in-person learning as soon as it was deemed safe and a quality learning environment consistent with our mission could be assured. To that end, the Board convened a Safe Return to School committee last month whose charter was to determine the appropriate decision criteria and formulate a recommendation for the Board to consider at its September meeting.

Over the past five weeks the committee invested a significant amount of time developing objective decision criteria and related benchmarks; tracking local and regional health data; researching and evaluating outcomes from other school districts operating under hybrid models; considering stakeholder input and social-emotional concerns; and ultimately arrived at a recommendation.

Summary of Recommendation
The following criteria led us to the conclusion that we are prepared to cautiously attempt a hybrid learning model that maintains a low level of risk, while giving students the in-person instruction and social-emotional benefits they need.

  • Local virus numbers have been on a steady decline since our August decision to start school remotely, with the positivity rate (percent of COVID-19 tests returning positive) decreasing to near 5% in Mecklenburg County.
  • Most local schools that have opened in a hybrid model have done so effectively.
  • We know the social and emotional benefits of our students are not being met in a virtual learning environment.
  • LNC has developed a strong, safe, responsible hybrid plan, including wearing face coverings, social distancing and daily health checks. These measures are proven to minimize the spread of Covid-19.

This decision does not come without challenges. Just as there are imperfections with remote learning, there will be with hybrid learning as well. In fact, our parent survey found that our families have just about equal confidence in their students’ ability to learn in plan B as they do in plan C.

The most notable challenge with hybrid instruction is that when students are learning at home, they will not have access to their teachers who will be occupied with the other cohort of students. Feedback from our staff survey gave us reason to pause and assure adequate time for the transition to hybrid learning. While most of our teachers (85%) feel they have the resources to execute plan C, less feel confident about the efficacy of plan B.

With this feedback in mind, the committee’s recommendation to the Board included a shortened school day to give teachers time at the end of the day to address questions from the at-home cohort. See details below. The committee also recommended a phased implementation timeline so that we can continue to identify concerns and improve our plans as we prepare to move to full hybrid learning.

Timeline of Hybrid Model Implementation
This return to in-person learning will be executed carefully, utilizing a staggered start (HS and MS) and two cohorts to ensure proper social distancing. Utilizing a staggered start at the high school and middle school allows us to return our students back to school slowly and safely, identifying and making any needed tweaks before reaching full hybrid capacity. This is not necessary at the elementary school because we are already living a taste of hybrid learning with the organized small group in-person instruction on Wednesdays during the Student Seminar.

Please use the table below to determine your student’s first day of in-person learning using this key:

Cohort 1 = Students with last names beginning A-La attend in-person school Mondays and Thursdays

Cohort 2 = Students with last names beginning Le-Z attend in-person school Tuesdays and Fridays
First Day of In-Person Learning
October 12

K-4 at ES
5-6 at MS
9 at HS
Cohort 1
October 13

K-4 at ES
5-6 at MS
9 at HS
Cohort 2
October 26

7-8 at MS
10-12 at HS
Cohort 1
October 27

7-8 at MS
10-12 at HS
Cohort 2
It is likely that we will need to move a few elementary and middle school students to a different cohort to ensure proper class balance for social distancing purposes. This will affect only a few families and they would know no later than next Friday, September 18 as we realize families need as much time as possible to plan. This would not impact any high school students.

This is a good time to remind our families that, unfortunately, we cannot honor any cohort preference requests. We have done our best to keep our families in the same cohort while assuring safe social distancing in all classes. If your children have different last names that would cause them to be in separate cohorts, please contact your building principal immediately. Many of you have made your principal aware of this back in July and we have that documented so there is no need to reach out again.

Length of School Day
As stated above, another significant change the Board approved last night is to shorten the in-person school day by 60 minutes during the time hybrid learning is necessary. This extra hour allows our teachers to be available to help those students who learned remotely that day and have a question that is preventing them from moving forward because they are stuck on a concept or assignment. This was an idea brought to us by a parent, illustrating that we are better TOGETHER!


High School
Middle School
Elementary School
In-Person Learning
Start Time

7:45 AM
8:00 AM
8:30 AM
In-Person Learning
Dismissal Time

1:45 PM
2:00 PM
2:30 PM
Community Commitment
We would like to affirm our commitment to doing everything in our power to ensure the safety of all our stakeholders including our staff, students and parents. We know it is impossible to control for all risk, but we feel confident in our Health and Safety Protocols. That said, we realize that some of our families have special health considerations or other circumstances that make learning in-person unwise or unattractive. While Plan C’s remote learning will no longer be an available option, as a school we are committed to providing those families a solid alternative. That option will be communicated at the beginning of next week so families have a chance to review and have thoughtful dialog as they make their decision.

As one community we have a commitment to one another. The success and sustainability of this in-person return will be decided by all of our careful choices and well-thought-out actions, often while not at school. This includes students, staff and parents practicing those character traits we recite in our LNC Honor Code and aspire to develop in all our students. It translates in ways like complying with wearing a mask, socially distancing and reporting health data accurately to protect on another.

We anticipate you may have more questions than this communication has addressed. We will be buttoning up instructional plans and school logistical procedures over the next few weeks. We will expand our FAQs beginning next week to include new information. You can expect to hear from us often this month and into October with additional information. Thank you for extending us grace to work with our teachers and other school staff to firm up plans before sharing. Please keep in mind that since mid-July we have focused our energies and time on making remote learning as successful as possible. We are proud of our teachers’ commitment, hard work and adaptability in revamping their instruction delivery and learning an entirely new set of tools. While we have a strong framework for hybrid learning, we will need the next few weeks to iron out all of the important details. Our goal is to provide you sound information the first time versus quickly answering questions and needing to change our answers later.

Finally, understanding this is a dynamic situation, we cannot guarantee circumstances won’t evolve requiring further changes on our part. We promise to continue to make decisions in the best interest of our LNC community, and to communicate those to you effectively and transparently. Thank you for your ongoing agility and understanding.
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Lake Norman Charter School - 704-948-8600