Wake County school board discusses road map for first two weeks of school
Posted August 4, 2020 6:13 p.m. EDT
Updated August 4, 2020 10:52 p.m. EDT
Cary, N.C. — The Wake County Public Schools Board of Education met Tuesday virtually to discuss a road map on what the first two weeks of school will look like for students and families.
The first day of classes is fast approaching for students on the traditional calendar. When classes do start, the first two weeks of school for all students will focus on orientation, meet-and-greet opportunities and distribution of supplies.
"Diving immediately into instruction will not set us up well," said Northwestern Area Superintendent Seydric Williams. "Emotional and social support are required to teach and learn."
During Tuesday's virtual work session, officials said 82,628 students had signed up either for the first semester or the entire school year of learning through the Virtual Academy. That's more than half of the student population in the Wake County Public School System.
“It's fair to say the interest level exceeded all expectations," Assistant Superintendent of Academics Drew Cook said about the number of students signed up for the Virtual Academy.
“That’s slightly more than half our student population in the Wake County Public School System. It is worth noting that the roughly 50% split held steady across nearly every school, grade level and region, with the exception of students in the northwest corner of the county, where enrollment was higher.”
Cook said there would be a school-by-school breakdown of the Virtual Academy numbers in the coming days. All families should receive notification by this week.
While all students will begin the school year with online instruction, district leaders say they are ensuring school buildings are safe for in-person instruction. Health Services Director Kelly Creech says the district has obtained $3 million worth of personal protective equipment and health related supplies to keep staff and students safe. There are also 20 million gallons of hand sanitizer that will be distributed throughout the schools.
Superintendent Cathy Moore also announced a phase-in approach for teachers, giving them the option to telework instead of teaching from their school.
"The district is not sacrificing the health of any staff member as we move forward," Moore said.