Wake County Public Schools Weighing Student Return

Plus: Here’s the phased plan for athletic workouts
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On Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina’s public school districts are permitted to implement “Option A” for grades kindergarten through 5th. Though Option A of the school reopening plans requires face coverings for everyone at the school, symptom screening, and social distancing, it does not limit the number of kids in the classroom. “Students in grades 6-12 still must operate only under Option B, which is partially in person and partially remote or Option C, which is all remote,” Cooper said. Option A can begin for those elementary schools on Oct. 5.

While the majority of Triangle school districts aren’t currently altering learning plans, Wake County Public School System is now weighing an in-person return for students. A long board meeting on Tuesday produced this statement: “Tonight, the Wake County Board of Education was provided an update regarding the reopening of school campuses for students who have opted for Plan B. While the update does not commit to a specific date or details, it does provide the conditions for reopening our buildings. The district is proposing a target date of Oct. 26 for students who have opted for Plan B to return to in-person instruction. Schools using modified calendar schedules and specific groups of children could begin sooner. A detailed plan will be presented to the school board in the next two to three weeks for approval from the Wake County Board of Education.” (Bolding is ours, to emphasize the target date.)

The board says it is soliciting feedback for “whether to use rotations of three weeks, two weeks or none at all” and “whether to provide in-person instruction to all students or specific groups and grade levels.” Conditions for reopening buildings include all required/recommended PPE distributed to schools and metrics showing “the rate of positive cases in Wake County has declined to 5% or lower for two consecutive weeks and supporting metrics tracked by the county are all trending downward.”

As this plan is being prepped for presentation within the next few weeks, a committee of “principals, athletic directors, area superintendents and others” created a schedule for when optional workouts can resume for student sports this school year. See that schedule below:

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Coaches and athletes will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms daily. Positive tests mean members of a pod exposed must quarantine for 14 days. It was decided last month that middle school sports would be delayed until 2021. More info on this here

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