Wake County school board votes to bring all middle, high school students back to full-time in-person classes

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Wake 6th-12th-graders to return to classrooms daily in April
The Wake County school board voted 6-3 Monday evening to bring middle and high school students back to classrooms on a daily basis in April.

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County school board voted Monday evening to bring students back to more than 60 middle schools and high schools.

The plan to bring grades 6-12 back to classrooms on a daily basis passed 6-3.

Year-round students will return April 14 with traditional calendar students returning April 8.

"When things shut down a year ago, I had no idea it was going to be a year before my children were going to be in school normally again, said Wake County mother of five Hajnalka Kleiman. "It's just like the sunlight has broken through the clouds."

Becky Lew-Hobb has an 8-year-old, 13-year-old and 14-year-old. The vote now allows her middle school-aged students to go back daily.

"Both of them are not passing and it's because of this environment. They can't stay focused. They need to be in person," Lew-Hobb. "I don't have any reservations. My kids are out and about with other activities and we haven't had problems. They need to live their life."

There is more mixed reaction among parents, ABC11 spoke with ReBekah Werner on Sunday. Werner fought back tears as she told us she wants her 14-year-old and 17-year-old back in the classroom full-time.

"This is important for so many reasons. I respect that we're doing everything that we can to keep our kids physically safe. But their mental health is equally important to me," Werner said.


Shaquita Boone is the mother of a seventh-grader who is enrolled in a virtual academy at Moore Square Magnet Middle School, but her daughter wants to be back in the classroom.

"She would rather take that chance," Boone said. However, just because her daughter wants to take the chance, doesn't mean Boone wants to do the same.

"I'm very scared honestly," Boone said. "No one knows if you will be successful at overcoming COVID. You don't know until you catch COVID."

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Last week, WCPSS reported 57 positive COVID-19 cases. Seventy percent of those cases were from students.

Plan A still requires students to adhere to face coverings, cleaning protocols, health screenings and social distancing.

On Friday, the CDC recently recommending most students maintain at least 3 feet of distance instead of 6 feet.

The CDC changed social distancing guidelines for schools to 3 feet from 6 feet.