Wake County school board proposes changes to 2020-21 calendar
Posted May 19, 2020 11:08 p.m. EDT
Updated May 20, 2020 12:57 p.m. EDT
Cary, N.C. — Student calendars for Wake County Public Schools could see some major changes ahead in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Parents said they are already bracing for what’s to come.
So many people tried logging onto Tuesday's virtual meeting with school board leaders that it reached its maximum limit of 1,000 viewers. School board members met virtually to discuss possible options for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The big takeaways? Start dates may change and a certain number of remote learning days are now required.
Under a proposed plan, students on the year-round single track calendar will follow Track 4 of the proposed multi-track year-round calendar, which would give them an Aug. 17 start. Students on a multi-track year-round calendar or modified calendar could see a start date of Aug 3. Tracks 1-3 would begin Aug. 3 and Track 4 on Aug. 17. School usually starts the second week of July.
Students attending school on the traditional calendar will start on Aug. 17 per an order signed by Gov. Roy Cooper.
State lawmakers are also requiring all school districts to have five remote learning days. Parent Michaela Desoucey wonders what in-person class instruction will be like.
"The question needs to be how can we do this as safely as possible, and what are the contingency plans going forward that get re-evaluated every few days," Desoucey said.
Wake County Public Schools Superintendent Cathy Moore said the district continues to wait for guidance from the state on how classrooms will look. Some recommendations from a state task force include keeping desks six feet apart and having students come to school on alternate days. School board member Jim Martin shared safety measures he said should be a requirement.
"Can we at least have the guidelines go forward that all Wake County personnel will wear a mask and what structures are we going to have in place to make sure we have the physical distancing," Martin said.
The board plans to take feedback from the public before making an official vote on school calendars, which could take place June 2.