Education

At-home, online, classes resume for students in Wake County public schools

Posted April 13, 2020 6:47 a.m. EDT
Updated April 13, 2020 4:24 p.m. EDT

Wake schools face grading concerns as online learning is set to begin

Monday morning was a school day for students in Wake County public schools, the first one in weeks.

Schools have been closed since March 16 when the governor ordered all public schools to close to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and districts, teachers and parents have been scrambling since that time to set up online learning.

Most teachers will use software to connect with students, like Canvas, Google Classroom or Seesaw.

For those who don’t have access to internet at home, the district has ordered more than 10,000 WiFi hot spot devices. Those are expected to be delivered to homes this week.

Wake County schools Superintendent Cathy Moore said that disparity in access factors into the decision to grade work done during the coronavirus closings on a pass/fail basis.

The State Board of Education has already approved the pass/fail system for high school seniors so they can meet minimum graduation requirements. Seniors who were meeting expectations in required classes would be awarded a grade of Pass COVID-19, or PC-19. Students who were not passing as of March 13, when schools closed, will receive help through the North Carolina Virtual Public School to meet expectations, or they will receive a Withdraw COVID-19, or WC-19, grade.

The state board has held off on grading guidance for other grades.

Schools could reopen after May 15. Should that happen, traditional letter grading could be used for the spring semester. Moore said students should continue to study hard at home during the online learning in case traditional grades are still used.

UNC-TV and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction have also expanded educational programming for all students. Other organizations, like museums, zoos, music and dance schools and even NASA are producing interactive online lessons and activities.

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