In a September 21 letter sent to Wake County Superintendent Cathy Moore and her core team, the Wake County Division of Principals and Assistant Principals expressed serious reservations about the feasibility of returning to in-person instruction on October 26.
A whopping 90.9% of administrators surveyed preferred a second semester return.
Even those who indicated they felt a late October return could be accomplished felt that additional supports needed to be put in place before it happened.
Those advocating for a delay until the end of the first semester felt the additional time would allow for COVID numbers to further decrease and for schools to better adapt instruction to a challenging hybrid model.
Below are some comments from the survey.
The entire letter is posted at the end of this article.
Teachers, students, and families need stability. For high schools, it is extremely challenging for teachers to re-design their curriculum multiple times to adjust from a brick and mortar to an online setting. If we transition again in the middle of a semester, teachers will need to navigate their curriculum again and figure out how to teach in both worlds (VA and in-person setting). I am highly concerned that this change will push them over the edge. Please allow high schools to remain online for the Fall semester.
I am very worried about what to do when we need a sub and do not have a sub. Have you collected data on how many staff members at each school have quarantine themselves because of an exposure? I lost count. Child care is also a big issue with our staff.
I believe returning in January would give Fall VA families and potentially full-time VA families an opportunity to return to F2F with confidence. It also provides a smoother transition for staffing, as I need the Fall VA teachers to be in whatever F2F rotation or full return we have. I simply cannot staff any form of F2F without the return of Fall VA teachers to a F2F model. Teacher assignment changes will definitely occur if we return prior to January, and we really don’t have the allotments needed to do this sooner. Stability for families should be considered as important as Safety.
I imagine YR schools would also fare better because returning to assigned tracks is more feasible at the end of first semester.
I think that returning to school during the month of October is too soon. I don’t believe that we will have enough time to properly prepare for our students to return. We have not received specific guidelines on what school will look like and what the safety measures truly consist of. Teachers will have to replan and adjust many lessons in order for them to provide instruction in person as well as online. I am also very concerned that transportation services needs will not be at the forefront. I can foresee many delays and lots of confusion. There are always hiccups and the beginning of the school year and due to the circumstances and student cohorts, I worry about safety and efficiency.
I think that the biggest issues are going to be transportation and substitutes. I do not believe that social distancing is going to be possible on buses. Also, when teachers get Covid (which they will- either from school or from the community) what are we going to do about substitutes?) We have a teacher out right now with Covid- but she can teach from her house because of remote learning- that won’t be possible if students are in school unless there is additional supervision.