Local & State
|Gov. Roy Cooper: NC schools will have in-person and remote options|
|Campuses can open with flexible plans|
|Published Tuesday, July 14, 2020 3:45 pm|
|Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that North Carolina schools will open with a combination of in-person and remote classroom learning.|
Gov. Roy Cooper announced the decision today in a press conference. Schools have been closed to in-person instruction since March but will open under what is referred to as Plan B – a combination of in-person and remote learning. Cooper said the plan is designed to have fewer children in the classroom and increased social distancing. Schools are encouraged to open under this plan. However, Plan C is also available for school districts, which is all-remote learning.
Plan C benefits schools located in areas experiencing a higher volume of cases. Cooper also referred to a letter from Attorney General Josh Stein stating the plan complies with state law requiring students to be present for the first week of school. Cooper said Plan B is the baseline for the state, but said Plan C is available. Schools have also been asked to prepare remote learning options.
“We know we are going to have to have teachers who are engaged in remote learning,” Cooper said.
Said State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis: “Every district is providing a remote option for parents who find that as the best option for their children.”
Schools will be required to limit the number of people in buildings and symptom screenings will take place daily before students enter the school. Face coverings will be required, and the state will provide them for each day of the week. School-day schedules must allow for frequent hand washing.
“The start of school is a month away for most of our children,” Cooper said. “We know a lot can happen during that time.”
However, should a spike occur before the academic year school starts, schools may be required to transition to all-remote learning.
State Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) criticized Cooper for not going far enough to ensure in-person classes, which he said will burden families that lack the resources for remote sessions.
“Gov. Cooper’s plan gets students halfway to where they need to be,” Berger said in a statement, “but much like jumping over a creek, halfway doesn’t cut it. The governor’s plan makes worse the very inequities a public school system is supposed to resolve. Students whose parents do not have the time or resources to supplement ‘virtual’ schooling will fall even further behind simply because of the condition of their birth. That’s an unspeakable travesty.
“And parents who do not have the privilege of working from home can’t take off every other day from work. What are they supposed to do?”
Cooper also announced that the state will remain in Phase 2 of reopening for another three weeks despite the current executive order ending on July 17. The state’s next potential move to Phase 3 is Aug. 7, during which time bars and gyms would reopen.
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