Wayne County Public Schools officials have not released a formal statement regarding Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement about reopening schools Tuesday afternoon.
Cooper said that school districts will open in the fall under Plan “B” with a reduced student capacity that meets social distancing requirements. He also gave autonomy to Local Education Agency (LEA) to select Plan “C,” which is remote learning.
The Wayne County Board of Education met Monday evening to discuss re-opening options.
Tamara Berman Ishee, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, shared updates on Plans “B” and “C” during a Wayne County Board of Education during the meeting.
Ishee shared that the school district is planning to post drafts of the plans for public review later this week.
Advisory group members met July 8 to share details and information about the needs of students, families and staff members with in-person and remote learning. They carefully crafted a data-informed Plan “B”, but are also aware that no single option will satisfy the needs of all stakeholders and meet requirements.
Plan “C” had to meet 15 requirements and two recommended elements, including obtaining chromebooks and identifying those who have no access to WiFi.
The Board must submit the Plan “C” proposal to the NC Department of Instruction no later than July 20.
“We know schools will look a lot different this year,” Cooper said. “They have to in order to be safe and effective. Our [COVID-19] numbers are still troubling, can jump higher in the blink of an eye. The most important opening is that of our classroom doors.
“We’ll continue to work with everyone’s safety in mind.”
Cooper said cloth face coverings are required for every student, teacher and administrative staff in grades K-12. The state will provide reusable masks for every day of the week.
Students must be screened before they step into a building. Any student who is ill must be moved to an isolated area and arrange transportation plans.
High-touch surfaces need cleaning and disinfecting in buildings and on school buses. Frequent hand washing is necessary, with sanitizer stations at entrances and in every classroom.
Cooper said activities that bring together large crowds are prohibited. Non-essential visitors and activities involving external groups must be limited, and discontinue use of self-serve food or beverage distributions such as drink and snack machines.