Bill Fletcher: Challenges of Reopening Schools

Cary, NC — Bill Fletcher of the Wake County Board of Education shares the many questions that face the Wake County Public School System before reopenning and how Wake County parents can help find the answers.

Covid-19 Preparation & Caution guide WCPSS

Student and staff safety is always our first concern and responsibility. As such, the District is in regular contact with health officials and monitoring updated guidelines daily. Each day we learn more about this virus and its impact on the healthy, as well as those with chronic illnesses. Please continue to follow the recommendations for personal hygiene and social distancing. 

Safely Coming Together to Conduct School Again

Students want to… parents want to… teachers want to restart school again.  Reopening schools is an essential component of allowing the economy to regain strength and momentum.  But how can it be done to maximize student engagement while minimizing health risks to students, their families and school staff?  There are a million questions that must be answered including:

How will social distancing be observed while transporting students to school?  

  • On yellow buses?
  • On cars and vans that transport special education students?

How will students be greeted at the school door?

  • With hugs or a temperature check?
  • What happens if a student has a fever?

How will social distancing be enforced… 

  • In the classroom?
  • In reading groups?
  • In small group collaboration?
  • In hallways?
  • In the hallway bathrooms?
  • In the cafeteria?
  • In a gym class or the playground?

What happens if a student is found to have Covid-19?

What happens if a teacher or other school staffer is diagnosed with Covid-19?

How will schools be sanitized?

  • How often will schools be sanitized?
  • How often will bathrooms – both in hallways and in-classrooms – be sanitized?
  • How many parents will keep their students at home?

How will the required 1025 instructional hours be provided while socially distanced?

How will fall athletics operate, if at all?

How will the social and emotional needs of students be supported?

How will on-line learning co-exist with regular classroom teaching and learning? 

Will all of the district bus drivers return to WCPSS? 

Same question for our contract transportation drivers of special education students. 

And many, many more tough questions that must be answered and plans made.

Please join with us and offer your feedback as we work toward reopening our school buildings.

Parent Chats – Zoom Meeting on Monday

Monday, May 18, 2020 at 11 AM will be the next parent chat. These meetings are held twice a month, on the first Thursday at 1 PM and the third Monday at 11 AM.

Wake County School parents can join the next meeting at this Zoom link.

A Note of Thanks to Food Services

Much appreciation goes out to the child nutrition staff, bus drivers and other staff who together have served more than 900,000 meals to students and families in need since the March 13 school closure.  We must also say thanks to the awesome support of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC, Interfaith Food Shuttle, numerous churches and PTA groups who have continued to provide resources to students and families during this challenging time. 

Story by Bill Fletcher, Wake County Board of Education Member. Bus photo by John Picken, featured image from the WCPSS public Facebook page.

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