Wake County school leaders approve plan for in-person learning next semester

Wake County News

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County school officials approved a plan Tuesday night to return students to classrooms next semester.

The plan will have pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students return to daily face-to-face instruction. Grades six through 12 will return on three-week rotations.

The plan is flexible and subject to change.

“The superintendent has told us we have the ability to pivot from this plan if necessary if recommendations change,” noted board member Chris Heagarty. 

The Board of Education voted 7-1 in favor of the plan. Dr. Jim Martin voted against it, saying that all classes can’t maintain appropriate social distance.

“I cannot support a plan that does not have all 3W’s. That includes distance,” he said.

Enloe High School junior Kyle Lin said virtual learning is going well but that he misses being in school.

“I’m definitely looking most forward to seeing some friends and teachers and getting back to that sense of normalcy,” he said.

Wake County high school students haven’t had in-person classes since March.

The plan comes a week after Wake County school leaders released new recommendations to get students back in classrooms. On Monday, thousands of students in kindergarten through third grade returned to schools for the first time this semester.

Kellie Lambert, who has a kindergartner in Wake County, said class size is a concern. She still hasn’t decided whether her son will go back in-person next semester.

“He’s missing the fun part of school — like recess and getting to know his classmates — that I think is so important for that social part of kindergarten,” she said. “All of that aside, I want to keep him safe and keep others safe.”  

Those who do go back know just because the semester starts with one schedule doesn’t mean it will end on the same schedule.

“I think that’ll definitely be tough,” Lin said. He noted this has been a year of changes and challenges for everyone.

“I think we all have a sense of versatility.”

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