WS/FC School Leaders Review Reopening Proposal, Face Transportation Challenges

WS/FC School Leaders Review Reopening Proposal, Face Transportation Challenges

2:36pm Jul 08, 2020
Many public school systems across North Carolina are discussing possible reopening plans as they await more guidance from Gov. Roy Cooper and state officials. One challenge is organizing transportation around current COVID-19-related safety recommendations. KERI BROWN/WFDD

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education is considering a new plan that would allow for more students to return to their classrooms in August. They’re also discussing potential changes in transportation.

Superintendent Angela Hairston laid out her proposal to the school board on Tuesday evening.

Those in kindergarten through sixth grade would be back inside buildings and attend classes daily.

Students in seventh through ninth grade would be split into two groups, with each attending classes in person twice a week. Two other days would be used for remote learning and Wednesdays would be designated as a day for teachers to meet with students or for tutoring.

Social distancing and other requirements would likely mean some students could be placed in high schools.

Students in grades 10-12 would learn remotely.

Hairston says one of the biggest obstacles is transportation. Bus capacity would be capped at 24 and students will be required to wear a mask.

“We have to look at the number of drivers we have. Some drivers will not return,” says Hairston. “And you distribute your buses based on last year's ridership. You determine the number of seats you have, advertise it to parents, and allow it to be a first-come, first-served basis.“

Hairston says students who don’t have transportation will be given the option to sign up for the virtual academy.

The plan was presented as an affordable reopening option for the district but isn't expected to be voted on by the board until further guidance is issued from the state later this month. The school system is also planning to get community feedback through focus groups, surveys, and other sources before it finalizes 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

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