WCPSS plan could see some grades back in classrooms full time in November

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County Schools officials discussed on Wednesday a plan for a phased return to in-person learning that could see some grades back in classrooms by Nov. 16.

According to a notice sent Wednesday evening, the phased approach would begin on Oct. 26 with pre-K, elementary, and K-12 regional program students. Those groups would receive in-person instruction on a three-week rotating basis. They’d be divided into three groups. Each group would attend school for one week and would learn remotely for two weeks, WCPSS said.

Then, on Nov. 9, grades 6-12 would return in three-week rotations.

On Nov. 16, the pre-K, elementary, and K-12 regional program students would begin daily, in-person instruction. Middle and high school students would remain on three-week rotations, WCPSS said.

“As much as I’m scared about them being in school, I feel like it’s better for them,” said parent Nichole Frazier. She has two children: a first grader and a fifth grader. Both are currently learning remotely.

“I think it’s going better for the fifth grader just because he’s able to get online, he’s able to follow it, and he pays attention a lot more,” Frazier said. “The first grader, I don’t really feel like he’s getting anything out of it at all. He will turn off his camera, he turns off his mic, and he is just like preoccupied.”

The proposal does not apply to Virtual Academy students, who will continue remote learning through the semester.

“I’m really indifferent. I can’t say that I’m ready for her to go back and can’t say that I’m not,” said parent Sandy Cooper. “I just try to hope everything gets better; expect the worst and hope for the best.”

“The proposals are consistent with the position held by the school board since July when the district announced that it would consider a safe return to in-person instruction once staff was ready, supplies were available and community spread of COVID-19 was declining,” WCPSS said.

The district also discussed incorporating an “asynchronous learning day” into each week. On those days, students wouldn’t log in for instruction or attend in-person classes. They would instead have the flexibility to make their own schedule and complete learning throughout the day. Teachers would be able to assign various activities and include resources like recorded instructional videos, offline assignments, meeting with small groups, and more.

Finally, the school system also discussed opening second-semester registration for its Virtual Academy. Students currently registered would be allowed to return to in-person learning or continue with the virtual curriculum. It would also allow those who didn’t register for the Virtual Academy for the first semester to do so for the second.

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