Orange County school leaders to meet again after 2 hours of debating in-person learning plans

COVID-19 and schools

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There was two hours of discussion at Monday night’s Orange County School Board meeting.

The debate centered on if schools will move from all remote learning to Plan B, which is a mix of in person and remote learning. 

“This board is a group of seven people who really just want to get it right for our community,” said Hillary MacKenzie, the board’s chair.

However, families disagree on what’s best.

Tonya McFalls lives in a rural area and says that makes virtual learning a challenge for her son. She wants him back in the classroom. 

“It is very stressful. Every day he’s been counted either tardy or absent for his class because we don’t have internet where he can get on there,” said McFalls.

However, Cravis Weathers, who has two grandchildren in Orange County Schools, thinks students should stay home.

“To put our children in danger like that is not a wise choice. If the internet is working and the kids are learning and the parents are there to teach them then they need to stay home at least until this year is over,” said Weathers.

There have been just over 2600 COVID-19 cases in Orange County with 55 deaths. Children under 18 account for 8 percent of those cases.

In a survey completed by 414 Orange County teachers, more than half said they would return to work if the district moves to Plan B. 

In Monday’s meeting, experts discussed risk versus benefit, how to handle water and lunch breaks and needed professional development and training if the plan moves forward — but in the end no decision was made. 

The school board will meet again Tuesday at 5 p.m. to further discuss Plan B options and recommendations.

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