The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education's special called meeting for Thursday is canceled. Instead, the district says the board will discuss a potential delay for reentry on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
But in person-classes will not start on Monday for younger children. The school system says it is delaying the start of Pre-K and EC Pre-K students. The start date for those students will now be delayed at least two weeks, pending Board action on further district delays or changes.
School leaders say the motion does not call for changing the dates staff members report back to school.
The board's COVID-19 committee recommended the delay for in-person classes on Tuesday evening. It had also called for a special meeting this Thursday.
Superintendent Angela Hairston presented recent data to committee members from the Forsyth County Health Department. It shows the county's COVID positivity rate is trending upward, as well as some other metrics.
“[The board] must consider the ... new cases per 100,000, you must consider the positive rates in the county and we have to consider our ability to implement the five mitigation strategies at a minimum,” says Superintendent Angela Hairston.
She says schools are preparing to welcome back students but the latest health department data is concerning.
“I think we can see if people don't change behaviors, the numbers won't change," Hairston says.
Nearly 100 teachers, bus drivers, and other educators rallied in front of the district's education building before the committee meeting. Val Young, president of the Forsyth County Association of Educators says they're asking for more staff to help screen children, a consistent metric for reentry, and equitable PPE.
Meanwhile, some parents and political leaders say the consequences of not sending kids back include learning loss and a lack of social interaction that children need.
The district says public comment will be accepted at the October 27 school board meeting.
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