During his 3 p.m. update on COVID19 today, Governor Roy Cooper said that while the state isn’t issuing a mandate for what North Carolina schools will be doing this Fall today, districts should continue looking at ways each of the three proposed plans would be implemented.
“My number one opening priority is classroom doors,” Cooper said during an afternoon news briefing. “We want our schools open for in-person instruction in August. The classroom is the best place for children to learn. Recent reports recommend it, and I know many parents and children agree.”
Today is day 114 since Governor Roy Cooper’s State of Emergency and the state’s emergency response team is delivering 16,500 thermometers, 7,200 face shields, 81,000 gowns and more than 340,000 surgical masks across the state. More than 200 charter schools and smaller school districts will receive supplies shipped to them while larger districts will receive supplies via trucks directly to warehouses by NC National Guard teams or contract trucking firms.
The first plan is in-person learning with key health and safety rules in place. The second plan is the same as the first plan, but with fewer children in the classroom at one time. And the third plan is remote learning for all students.
“District and school administrators are still working on ways to implement those plans, and we’re asking them to keep using this time to work with teachers, staff, parents and public health officials to make sure that our schools are opening in the safest possible way,” Cooper added. “We want to get our students back in the classroom, and we want to make sure we get this right.”
North Carolina Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said that based on emerging science, children in public education settings have a very low chance of transmission, making it more probable that children will return to schools for in person instruction in August.
A formal announcement from the state will be made before August, when many schools are expected to begin.
“We need everyone to do what works,” said Governor Cooper. “Sticking to those safety rules now will help get schools back open safely.”