Full-time return to Wake County classrooms comes with challenges, middle school principal says

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Wake County School Board approved a plan weeks ago allowing students to return to in-person learning Thursday, but some schools may not welcome full classes for at least a week.

As Wakefield Middle School prepares to welcome students back into classrooms, Principal Alison Cleveland admitted things are a little hectic.

“It’s like our third or fourth first day of school,” said Wakefield Middle School Principal Alison Cleveland.

Wake County Public Schools are allowing middle and high schools to begin Plan A learning on Thursday, but students at Wakefield are staying in cohorts for the first two days of class.

“We want to continue to maintain health and safety as well as we possibly can,” Cleveland said. “We want to make sure we take our time to do it right.”

The district has until April 19 to fully welcome students back, but that’s causing confusion with schools returning to Plan A on different dates.

“With students switching from Virtual Academy to Plan A, as well as Plan A to Virtual Academy, we had to look at class sizes and look at moving teachers around and disrupting their schedules a little bit,” Cleveland said. “We worked hard to try and limit that.”

At Wakefield, that means 75 more kids that teachers have to find space for.

“Even though the deadline was April 1, we’re still getting some requests today,” Cleveland said.

She said the decision to allow students to transfer in and out of the Virtual Academy has been a “curveball.” WCPSS initially said students who pick the virtual option would have to stick with it.

“Is it a curveball? Sure,” Cleveland said. “Does it require a lot of shifting and changing? Yes. That’s just what we’ve been doing all year.”

Wakefield Middle School will return to a full schedule on Monday. However, families should check their school’s website and not the district website to make sure their child gets to school on time.

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