Wake County Schools

All Wake students could have some in-person instruction for spring semester

Posted October 20, 2020 5:15 p.m. EDT
Updated October 21, 2020 7:09 a.m. EDT

— In under a week, the Wake County Public School System opens the doors for in-person instruction for pre-kindergarten through third-grade students.

On Tuesday, Wake County Board of Education members discussed how to keep students and staff safe as they return to campus. Superintendent Cathy Moore discussed safety measures from the time students arrive on campus, to different spaces in the school building.

Students are expected to wear face coverings and go through temperature checks each day. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the buildings and in classrooms. Large spaces, like cafeterias and classrooms, have been adjusted to accommodate social distancing.

"As we continue with students returning to school, staff will make adjustments backed on feedback and experience. They will continue to share best practices so we can learn from each other," explained Moore.

Visitors inside school buildings will be restricted to parents, vendors, emergency personnel, municipal inspectors and substitute teachers.

Students returning for in-person learning should bring the laptops the district provided to and from school with them. Students who are using a personal computer for online learning can choose whether to bring it to school or not.

The school system plans to launch a webpage updating families about any school that has a confirmed coronavirus case. The webpage is expected to launch on Oct. 26, the same day students return. Moore said the dashboard will be updated weekly.

"School closings will only occur in consultation with state health officials, local health officials and membersof the ABC Scientific Collaboritive," Moore said.

Families and WCPSS employees who have been in close contact with a confirmed coronavirus case at school will be notified. All employees and students will be notified if school leaders are unable to figure out who was in close contact with a confirmed case.

Spring semester plans

During the board's work session, plans for the spring semester were also discussed.

School leaders presented the following plan for students return to the classroom at the start of the semester in January:

  • K-12 special education programs: Daily in-person instruction
  • PreK-grade 5: Daily in-person instruction
  • Grades 6-12: Three-week rotation (students learn two weeks online and one week in-person)
  • Grades 9-12: Three-week rotation

Moore said this plan could be impacted if Gov. Roy Cooper imposes new executive orders or revises current conditions.

“Safety of students and staff is priority,” she added.

The school system's Virtual Academy will be an option again for the next semester. Pre-kindergarten students will also have the ability to enroll in the online school. Spring registration for Virtual Academy will be Oct. 21-28 for secondary schools and Dec. 2-9 for elementary schools.

School leaders will present a proposal to the board on Nov 10. for review. A week later, they will present a proposal for the board to consider and adopt.

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