Cumberland County Schools will not delay start of spring semester amid COVID-19 surge

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Cumberland County Schools will not delay the beginning of the spring semester. Education leaders held a special meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the option of pushing back the start date in light of surging COVID-19 cases in the county and state.

Superintendent Marvin Connelly, Jr. said the school system will have strict COVID-19 mitigation protocols in place. They include limited visitors, 50 percent capacity at athletic events, and optional testing sites for students and staff.

The district will begin classes Wednesday. Other considerations discussed Tuesday were shifting to virtual instruction for the remainder of the week or extending the school year and making the three days this week teacher workdays.

“In light of the COVID-19 metrics in our county and understanding that many of our staff, students, and their families may have been exposed to COVID-19 over the break, we felt obligated to explore all possible options upon our return from winter break,” Connelly said in a news release. “We also wanted to ensure we had adequate staff to move forward with in-person learning, since some staff may miss work because of COVID protocols.”

John Vaughn was one of about a dozen parents anxiously waiting to hear if Cumberland County Schools would delay the start of classes.

“You’re talking about a decision that’s going to impact tens of thousands of people. Right, tens of thousands of families in this county,” Vaughn said.

If there is an outbreak, the school board has the authority to quarantine the entire classroom or school.

Vaughn said he is satisfied with the decision. However, he wants school leaders to take feedback from parents before making huge decisions regarding delaying school because of COVID-19.

“That’s just not acceptable. This is 2022. We have been doing this for two years. We know about this,” Vaughn said.

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