After six weeks of online schooling, the Wake County Board of Education had a meeting on Tuesday, September 29 to make a decision on returning to school. The final decision was unanimous to continue online instruction until January for high school students. The Board of Education voted for preschool through third grade to go back on a single, three-week rotation starting on October 26. Then, on November 16, all pre-K through third-grade students will go back to full in-person instruction. For fourth and fifth graders, the vote was 5 to 4 in favor of sending them back to school for a 1 week in school and 2 weeks off rotation also starting on November 16.
Board of Education Superintendent Cathy Moore proposed that because of the size of classes in grades 4 and 5 that those grades should stay home for the rest of the semester, similar to middle and high school. Moore proposed that because middle school and high school teachers would have to teach in person as well as remote. Moore thinks that it would be simpler to keep these students remote for the rest of the semester.
“I am really looking forward to interacting with my students in person again, but I think it’s important to keep in mind that things will not be normal when we do go back,” stated Senora Martin, “I am nervous about juggling my in-person students and my remote students at the same time. I can’t even wrap my brain around how that will work or what it will look like. I think a return to school can be safe as long as everyone is on the same page; all students and staff are compliant with wearing masks correctly 100% of the time, we are socially distanced, and we stay home when we are sick!”
The cross country coach, David Christian said, “Although I look forward to the day we are back-face-to-face in the classroom, I respect and understand the caution and patience of the Wake County leadership. I am so pleased that the decision to let athletics begin on a limited basis and can’t express how thankful and excited we are to be able to hold practices and competitions. We are focused on the safety as well as the mental and physical health of our athletes through this moment in history. ”
“We need to feel safe and supported before [a return to school] can happen,” commented Cameron Burns, math teacher, “It’s been a tough year for all of us, but I’m really hoping that the county can provide the right precautions and resources for our schools so that everyone can feel comfortable and safe before returning to the buildings.”