Triangle universities, K-12 schools prepare for changes this fall due to COVID-19

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Public school districts in the Triangle are not sure what the next school year will look like a, whether they have to continue remote learning or resume in-person lectures.

Wake County Public School System, Durham Public Schools and Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools said the action plan will be guided by Governor Roy Cooper, the state board of education and health leaders.

On April 24, Cooper ordered all K-12 schools to stay closed through the end of the school year. However, he did not give guidance on high school graduations. Districts said those are up in the air.

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Wake County Public School System and Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools had contracts with venues that are closed.

WCPSS and Durham Public Schools said they're looking into options that include other locations and dates.

"We are taking all kinds of ideas about how to commemorate graduations when mass gatherings are just not safe. It could involving delaying in some way. It could involve virtual celebrations," said Durham Public Schools spokesperson Chip Sudderth.

As students prepare for next year, some getting a break when applying to on of the 17 public colleges and universities in the University of North Carolina system, which said they will focus more on student GPA and less on test scores.

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Under the new minimum college admission guidelines by the UNC System, current high schools seniors with a 2.5 GPA can be considered without taking those tests.

The UNC Board of Governors approved this measure, which only applies to first-time students enrolling this fall, last month.

Both SAT and ACT testing dates have been put on hold through the spring.

The next ACT testing dates are June 13th and July 18. College Board said SAT testing will resume on the weekends beginning August 29 through December 5th, but only if it's safe to do so.

It's still unclear what the college experience will look like this fall for the high school Class of 2020.

Local universities said it is too early to know the exact plan for fall--whether students will be allowed on campus or the extent to which virtual learning will continue.

Schools said any decision made will be based on recommendations from health leaders, Gov. Cooper and the University of North Carolina System.
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