New Hanover County Schools Will Reopen With 'Online-Only' Instruction

Jul 28, 2020

It’s official -- New Hanover County Schools will be “online-only” when they reopen next month. WHQR has the details.   

At a School Board meeting last night, Interim School Superintendent Del Burns said he’s changed his mind--the school system is just not ready to open under Plan B, the hybrid option involving both online learning and in-person classes:  

“There are many questions yet to be answered -- big questions such as, ‘What happens when a child tests positive? What happens when a teacher tests positive? What happens when a young child is screened at a bus stop and has a fever? How are symptomatic children and staff cared for? And how are others protected given the nature of classrooms and schools for extended periods of time?’”

Burns said Plan B may still be a possibility in the future, but that the current level of Covid-19 cases will not allow in-person instruction.  

Throughout the evening, school officials made presentations on communications, operations, curriculum & instruction, finance, and health. Most of them pointed to what Burns said at the beginning of the meeting: There needs to be more time to plan adequately for students to return to buildings. 

School Board Member David Wortman was the lone vote in opposition to the “online-only” plan, saying that students need in-class instruction and that the District had three months to prepare a plan:   

“I think that not opening up the schools creates a huge gap in equity by not having that face-to-face instruction or not giving parents the option to have that face-to-face instruction.” 

The District officials also reported that there 6 nurse vacancies for the County -- out of the 41 who serve the schools.