Wake County Schools

WCPSS proposes plan to have all students receive in-person instruction next semester

Posted November 10, 2020 7:06 a.m. EST
Updated November 10, 2020 10:29 p.m. EST

— Wake County fourth and fifth graders could be included in full-time, in-person classes next semester.

Wake County Public School System staff gave the spring semester recommendation during a Wake County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Prekindergarten through third grade will move from a rotation with one week in the classroom and two weeks remote learning to full-time instruction next Monday. School leaders recommended keeping those students in the classroom full-time for the next semester.

Sixth through eighth graders would stay in three-week rotations for in-person instruction for spring semester. Wake middle school students returned to the classroom on a rotating basis on Monday.

Ninth through twelfth grade would move from remote only to three-week rotations.

Wake County Public School System could switch to full-time, in-person learning for middle and high school students if Gov. Roy Cooper issues an executive order that would allow full-time, in-person instruction for students beyond third grade.

During the work session, Dr. Danny Benjamin with the ABC Science Collaborative, a program that pairs scientists with schools to help provide information on coronavirus and reopening schools, said leaving schools closed may be worse for coronavirus than safely reopening.

"Schools are populated by people whose careers are dedicated to making children and adults safe, so in some sense, it''s not a surprise that children and adults are safer in the school environment as it related to the pandemic," he explained.

Benjamin added that coronavirus cases in the community means cases in schools, but he said he doesn't believe schools are major super spreaders.

Wake County Public School System could switch to full-time, in-person learning for middle and high school students if Gov. Roy Cooper issues an executive order that would allow full-time, in-person instruction for students beyond third grade.

Since opening schools, the district has reported nearly 30 COVID-19 cases.

Superintendent Cathy Moore said the district is following state health guidelines when it comes to parents being allowed to attend sporting events.

"We fully expect and want to open our athletic events to the extent that the governor will allow to spectators when we are ready to do so and I don't see that being far in the fture," said Moore.

During Tuesday's board meeting, Moore said a plan for arts and athletics would be presented at the next board meeting.

Board members will vote on a plan for spring semester on Nov. 17.

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