Area school districts are moving to take advantage of Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision to allow students in grades K-5 full re-entry to school classrooms.
Prior to last week, Cooper was only allowing school districts a choice between Plan B — a mix of in-person and online classes for all students — or Plan C — online-only classes. Most school districts in the region chose to start the school year under Plan C.
But now that Cooper is allowing school districts to fully reopen classrooms for K-5 students under what’s known as Plan A, Camden Superintendent Joe Ferrell said he expects the county Board of Education will move to make that happen.
“We were already planning for the transition to Plan B on Oct. 12 and we are likely to stick with that date and shift focus to Plan A,” Ferrell said. “We have scheduled a meeting for Wednesday to discuss options and make decisions.”
The Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Board of Education discussed Saturday what preparations will be needed to fully reopen classes for students in grades K-5. One key part of the board’s discussion involved the possible purchase of an electronic system to check students’ temperature as they walk past.
Rachael Haines, chief finance officer for ECPPS, said staff have not gotten final quotes from vendors for the temperature-check technology. She said staff first wanted input from the school board about what it wants in a system.
Board member Pam Pureza said she would like the system to be as secure as possible.
Board Chairman Denauvo Robinson said if there is not a cost difference he would prefer a system that can check the temperatures of a group of students at once rather than one that requires students to file by one at a time.
Haines said Perquimans County Schools, which reopened under Plan B last month, is already using a temperature-check system and gives the technology positive remarks.
Robinson also announced Saturday that ECPPS is planning a virtual demonstration — tentatively set for Friday at 3 p.m. — to show staff and parents what the classroom setup would look like as students return.
ECPPS Superintendent Catherine Edmonds said parents who prefer their children to continue to learn remotely will be allowed that option.
”Our district is committed to ensuring students receive a quality education as well as meeting other needs during this time,” Edmonds said. “We have and will continue to seek feedback from parents and staff. We also will continue to monitor health and safety updates being mindful of the local context.”
In Perquimans, Superintendent Tanya Turner said she will be presenting a plan for transitioning to Plan A to the school board on Monday.