School will open for at least part-time in-person learning this year. That’s the message from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. Despite the continued spread of Covid-19, state officials say the science shows keeping kids completely out of school is more dangerous than risks from the virus.
Schools will re-open on schedule under what Governor Cooper is calling Plan B, which involves a combination of remote and in-person learning. It means that every student, teacher, and staffer will be required to wear a mask. It will also allow fewer people in school at the same time so that social distancing is possible. Kids will submit to a temperature check before they enter the building, and the school schedule will allow for frequent hand-washing and cleaning.
Plan B is the baseline for the state, says Cooper.
"However, districts can choose Plan C which requires all remote learning, if they determine that’s best for those children, parents, and teachers in that area...The start of school is a month away for most of our children. And we know a lot can happen with the virus during that time. If trends spike and in-person schools cannot be done safely, even with these safety protocols, then North Carolina will need to move to all remote learning."
As far as re-opening the rest of the state, despite the current Executive Order’s expiration this Friday, July 17th, Governor Cooper says the state will continue in Safer At Home Phase 2 for the next three weeks.
The data trends of Covid-19 are troubling, says Cooper, and could spike in the blink of an eye. And that could threaten the state’s ability to re-open schools next month.