Cumberland County Schools opts for virtual learning for first 6 weeks

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Cumberland County Schools has elected for remote instruction for the first six weeks of school.

The decision was made during a special meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Education on Tuesday.

“This is the hardest situation we’ve ever come up against,” said school board member Donna Vann.

Last week, Superintendent Marvin Connelly Jr. recommended the district move to remote learning to start the year.

The Board backed Connelly’s recommendation with an unanimous vote Tuesday morning.

Gov. Roy Cooper said announced last week that schools would be allowed to reopen with a mix of in-person and virtual learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But districts could go with all virtual learning if needed.

“Reopen in-person is not right for Cumberland County,” said Vice Chairman Greg West. “At least not right now.”

Cumberland County Schools will resume August 17 and teachers will be expected to report to school.

“Teachers can socially distance in their classroom with all of the resources they need to work and put together what our students need,” said West. “Teachers need to collaborate, work together, and we need the resources that being at school offers.”

As it stands, remote learning will take place for at least three hours per day.

“We have both live learning, which is a live teacher session as well as asynchronous working which means they have projects at home that will keep up,” said Chief Academic Officer Stacey Wilson-Norman.

In order to make it work, the district is vowing to ensure that every student has a tablet, and they’re even getting creative with WiFi.

“Our technology team is looking to outfit 80 buses that will have internet access that we can drive into local communities, as well as working to ensure that our schools serve as hotspots and have wifi capabilities,” said Wilson-Norman.

After September 28, the board will reassess its options.

“We can always fix the academics of the kids, but we can’t fix somebody that passes away from this terrible disease,” said school board member Joseph Sorce.

Cumberland County Schools are also working on plans to serve breakfast and lunch to its students curbside, but that will depend on the staff’s ability to safely to do so.

Several districts across the state have move to remote learning to start the year.

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