Local School Officials Wait, Express Confusion Over Reopening Guidance

Local School Officials Wait, Express Confusion Over Reopening Guidance

6:18pm Jul 07, 2020
Public school classrooms will look a little different for students this fall, as districts put in place COVID-19 safety measures. KERI BROWN/WFDD

Education officials are trying to figure out what the next school year is going to look like. Some say they’re getting mixed messages from the state and federal levels about the reopening guidance.

Federal officials are urging school districts across the country to reopen their buildings this fall.  Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday schools must be “fully operational” even amid the pandemic and anything less fails students and taxpayers.

DeVos and others have voiced concerns about learning gaps, as well as the social and emotional impact on kids if schools remain closed.

But local education leaders are cautious, especially in areas where COVID-19 cases are rising. They say they will need more financial support and additional resources to safely reopen in August.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education Chair Malishai “Shai” Woodbury says districts are doing what they can under the circumstances.

“I’m confused. You know, sometimes in pandemics, I know that some of us are psychologically, a lot of us are a little hyped right now, but I want to be well informed before we make a final vote on a decision,” says Woodbury. “I just thought the national dialogue was a little different than what’s going on on the ground.”

 Governor Roy Cooper delayed an announcement last week on his guidance. He’s expected to issue his plan for reopening schools in the coming days.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recently released health guidelines for the reentry process.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you’re experiencing.

*Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news 

Support your
public radio station