Education

With students to return to classrooms next week, Wake County urges all teachers, staff to get a COVID test

Posted January 11, 2021 2:59 p.m. EST
Updated January 11, 2021 5:20 p.m. EST

Coronavirus and the classroom

After the holiday break and two weeks of remote learning for all, the Wake County Public School System is on track to return its youngest students to the classroom as soon as next week. Students in kindergarten through fifth grades would return to the classroom fulltime on Jan. 20, while those in grades 6 through 12 would return to status they had at the end of the fall semester.

With that deadline looming, school district employees got a letter Monday urging them to get a COVID-19 test.

"We encourage all employees to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, regardless of whether you have symptoms or have been exposed," wrote Edward McFarland, WCPSS chief academic officer. He reminded teachers and staff that test results can take two to four days.

Traditional-calendar schools have a holiday Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. and a teacher work day on Tuesday, which would put students back in the classroom as soon as next Wednesday, Jan. 20.

The plan is in contrast to Durham Public Schools, which announced last week that all students would stay on remote learning through the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

The Wake County school board has a special meeting planned from Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and a regular meeting next Tuesday. Jan. 19 at which they could consider a change to that plan, but no agenda is posted.