Wake County Public Schools board approves plan that involves three-week rotations for students

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- In a virtual meeting on Thursday, the Wake County Public School System board unanimously agreed to move forward with a "Plan B" for the 2020-21 school year.

Governor Roy Cooper has asked all school districts and charters to come up with three plans, depending on the severity of COVID-19.

Plan B means that there would need to be increased social distancing with schools at no more than 50 percent and buses at no more than 33 percent capacity. Plan A means there will need to be minimal social distancing. Plan C means remote instruction only.

"We believe at this time that asking to begin the school year at Plan B is important because it requires the most planning and most difficult to implement," Superintendent Cathy Moore said. "We can pivot to a Plan C pretty easily if that is what the Governor declares and if the Governor declares a Plan A, we can still choose to remain at Plan B because we can go more restrictive."

For the WCPSS plan, students would attend schools in three groups and do three-week rotations. They'd have in-person learning for one week and online instruction for two weeks.
They'd all start with an orientation in weeks one and two.

Officials would work to place siblings in the same rotation.

Under the plan, one-third of students in would be in school facilities while two-thirds of students would be remote.

Social distancing would be mandatory and there would be 23 students per bus run, with one student per seat and two passengers per contracted vehicle.

"We need to create efficient bus routes. The first group of students placed in the group will be bus riders. These group assignments will be created by our transportation team. To be clear, bus riders will be evenly distributed across the rotation groups, not put into one group only," Brian Pittman said.

As for students with health concerns, they have the option of attending the school's virtual academy.

"While right now we feel that the school-based program model provides the greatest level of flexibility and responsiveness in meeting the needs of students, we also want to ensure that there is a consistent set of operational standards and instructional expectations by which the virtual academy operates to ensure that the student experience is similar and consistent across the district," said Assistant Superintendent Drew Cook.
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