Wake County Schools

WCPSS to recommend all students remain in remote learning until mid-February

Posted January 13, 2021 5:01 a.m. EST
Updated January 14, 2021 3:37 p.m. EST

— At Thursday's special-called meeting for the Wake County Board of Education, Wake County Public School System leaders will recommend all K-12 students remain in remote learning until mid-February because of rising COVID-19 cases.

As it stands, the board plans to send students in kindergarten through fifth grades back to the classroom. Before the second semester, only pre-K through third grade students were on campus every day. Middle and high schoolers are set to return to campus on three-week rotations of online and in-person learning.

Dina Wolstromer's fifth grade daughter chose to spend her first semester learning all online in WCPSS' Virtual Academy. Wolstromer said her daughter is ready to go back.

"She wants to be face-to-face, even if it's just a couple days out of the month," she said. "I think she'll be happier that way."

Before winter break, fourth and fifth grade students were in class for one week and and spent two weeks doing online classwork.

The board will either continue with a previously approved plan and bring fourth and fifth grade students back to the classroom daily, where they would join pre-K through third grade students. Or, the board will keep all K-12 students in remote learning until mid-February.

"There's absolutely no way they can social distance with that many [students] and I'm worried, not just for my kids, but for the teachers," said Wolstromer.

Heather Hall, another parent of a Wake fifth grader, said the board should look at all alternatives to bring students back everday.

"I definitely think we should be doing daily in-person for who chooses," she said. "Instead of going to rotation, look at other ways to spread the children out. We have libraries, we have cafeterias, we have gyms -- those can all be utilized to spread fourth and fifth graders out."

This decision would be made less than a week before students are set to return for school.

All Wake County students are learning remotely after the board decided to halt in-person classes to limit the spread of coronavirus after winter break.

Durham Public Schools, by contrast, announced last week that all students would continue learning remotely through the end of the school year due to the rise in coronavirus cases.

The district is encouraging all school district employees to get tested for coronavirus as soon as possible before school starts back.

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