Wake County Schools

Wake County schools propose plans for 2020-21 schedule

Posted May 22, 2020 11:16 a.m. EDT
Updated May 22, 2020 11:43 a.m. EDT

Photo by Jacqueline Kelly on Unsplash

— Wake County schools are considering possible plans for students returning to school in the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

Teachers could lose five teacher work days during the year to meet the requirements and five additional remote learning days could be added to the calendar.

Originally, the school board said that year-round schools were going to have students back in the classroom on July 27. Now, the school board is considering pushing that date back to Aug. 3.

The last day of school for the 2020-21 school year is listed on the modified calendar as May 28.

The first day of the school year for traditional calendar families will be Aug. 17.

On school buses, Wake County school Superintendent Cathy Moore said students would have to spread out on school buses, to keep in line with social-distancing guidelines from the CDC.

In the meantime, remote instruction has been a struggle for some students. Only 12 percent said they thought their children were learning more now, while 31 percent said the learning is about the same online as it was in person.

Not all students and teachers in the state have quality, fast broadband internet coverage. Edgecombe County teacher, Shawna Andrews, has access to data through her phone, but not broadband internet.

“All of a sudden, this whole area really needs internet, and we don’t have access … we’re just doing what we have to do to survive right now,” she said.

The state board approved new requirements on Friday addressing needs of students who are English-language learners, local limitations of districts, technology needs and the availability of broadband Internet.

Eric Davis, board chairman "urged action" on the state, and said that the private sector would not supply all of North Carolina with access to internet.

“Broadband is more than an economic issue, it is an economic development, commerce, and public safety issue that is just as critical as electricity, water, sewer and other public utilities for the quality of life for every North Carolinian,” Davis said.

In new state board requirements it also emphasized the need for:

  • Surveying students and teachers to better understand how connected their homes were to the internet
  • Ensuring students with disabilities have equal access to remote instruction and it is provided in an equal manner
  • Better tracking and reporting attendance
  • Grade-appropriate remote work
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