Local News

School's in, power's out: Wake County classes resume

Posted April 13, 2020 3:07 p.m. EDT
Updated April 13, 2020 5:29 p.m. EDT

— After much planning, Wake County schools began online classes Monday. With nearly 162,000 students in the district, it’s a huge undertaking. And the storms overnight that caused power and internet outages made for a bumpy start.

But families who talked to WRAL News were optimistic about the situation. They say their kids are ready to get back to some kind of structure.

In Garner this morning, some 6000 households were without power.

Latoya Smalls's family was one of the lucky ones. "Our light was flickering, but it was fine. It didn't go all the way off;"

Smalls's son Jaquan, a first-grader at Vandora Springs Elementary School, was eager to get started with school online.

"I did not finish my work, so when I go back, I think I can finish my work," he said.

Wake County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Luten says they will be flexible with students. No one will be penalized for missing class due to a power outage or internet issues. And all "live" classes or lectures will be recorded, so students who can't access them today will be able to catch up later.

Smalls says she is just thankful students are finally going back to class.

"They need something to do," she said.

Anne Grimm agrees. Her daughter Bizzy is in the tenth grade at Green Hope High School.

Out of school since March 16th, Bizzy says it was a little hard to get back into the swing of things.

"I kind of had a summer mindset, so waking up before 12 was kind of hard," she admits.

"I commend Wake County for getting everything up and running as quickly as they did. It's great. It's trial and error. I think it worked well today," Anne Grimm says.

"Hopefully, the engagement will stay and they won't have any trouble getting online and doing their assignments. We'll see," she added. "I have a feeling it's going to be like this until the end of the school year."

The school system has provided 28,000 laptops and 10,000 internet hotspots to families to make sure every child can connect.

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