When will students return to class? Tuesday's Wake County Public School System meeting floats potential options

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Wake County Schools targets Oct. 26 return date for Plan B students
Wake County Schools targets Oct. 26 return date for Plan B students

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- In-person learning was the hot topic at the Wake County School Board's work session Tuesday night.

The board heard from parents and teachers who were pleading for a plan to return soon to in-person learning. No immediate decision was reached.

The board discussed business openly for just more than four hours before entering a closed session.

While specific dates or details were not officially committed to during Tuesday's meeting, the district wants to propose a target date of Oct. 26 for Plan B students to return to in-person instruction.

A detailed plan will be presented to the school board in the next two to three weeks for approval from the Wake County Board of Education.

The board said operations, staff readiness, and metric are all things that need to be met for a return to the classroom, along with scheduling and grade configurations.

Other Triangle school districts appear to be committed to sticking with their remote learning plans for now.

Durham Public Schools said it is committed to virtual learning for the first nine weeks. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is likewise sticking with online classes throughout the entire current semester.

Earlier Tuesday, the school board heard from the Co-Curricular Activities and Athletics Sub Committee on Tuesday on the latest plans in place for high school athletics.

Wake school board discusses in-person learning and more at its work session. Josh Chapin reports.

The WCPSS announced that they and their member schools will be proceeding with a "soft rollout" return to sports. Area volleyball and cross country teams will be the first ones back in action and serve effectively as trial balloons to see how the the protocols in place will work.

Wake schools hears plan for safely moving athletics forward.

Optional workouts (max twice a week) for those two sports will begin October 1 with tryouts and practice to follow two weeks later.

The rest of the sports will then follow in order of their adjusted schedule starts which were announced a couple weeks ago by the NCHSAA.

That's all of course dependent on a lack of any outbreaks at any of the schools participating. As was stressed repeatedly by the WCPSS subcommittee today, while they want to return kids to the mental and physical benefits of sports, their greater safety is of the utmost import.

Enhanced COVID-19 protocols will be in place in line with North Carolina state guidelines. No more than 25 people may be together indoors and 50 outside. Questionnaires will be filled out, temperatures taken and cleaning and sterilization equipment will be made available. All workouts will be limited to campus and no access will be allowed to begin with to the locker rooms and weight rooms.

The committee was formed in June to support the planning and preparation of activities and athletics for students to start the 2020-21 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee told the school board that it will be following previously announced guidelines by the North Carolina High School Athletics Association to move forward with the safe return to athletics for student-athletes.