NC Governor Allows For Schools To Move Into ‘Plan A’, District Responses Vary

CHARLOTTE, NC – North Carolina school districts have the option to bring back elementary students to full in person learning beginning October 5th. 

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper making the announcement during a briefing Thursday afternoon. 

“Most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers,” said Cooper. 

Districts can move to Plan A for elementary students if it chooses to do so. 

“Plan A may not be right at this time for many school districts and for every family. Opportunities for remote learning need to be available for families who choose it,” said Cooper. 

Masks are still required for teachers and students, but distancing and capacity restrictions are relaxed. State health officials say covid cases of school aged children continue to decline. 

“There don’t appear to be differences in community spread of the virus in districts where they’re operating in a hybrid in person model versus an all remote learning model,” said NCDHHS Director Dr. Mandy Cohen. 

On Wednesday night, CMS voted to move into Plan B, which will cycle about ⅓ of students beginning with elementary schools on November 2nd, middle schools on November 23rd, and high schools on December 14th.

CMS has no plans for Plan A. 

“When conditions indicate it is appropriate to bring larger numbers of students together in the classroom, we will make that recommendation to our Board,” wrote Brian Hacker, a CMS spokesperson, in a statement. 

Union County schools, which are currently in Plan B will hold a meeting next week to discuss further reopen plans. 

“Staff will review Plan A, assess health and safety procedures and other logistics related to adding more days to the elementary school schedule,” wrote Tahira Stalberte with Union County Schools. 

Iredell Statesville Schools are planning to move elementary students into Plan A on October 5th.

“On October 5th elementary families will be given the option to move forward with Plan A or to stick with Plan C and continue to learn remotely,” wrote Boen Nutting with Iredell Statesville Schools.

“It is concerning to us. We of course want to make sure that we all return to school but we must do so safely,” said Tamika Walker Kelly, the President of the North Carolina Association of Educators. 

She says Plan A removes strict safety protocols and leaves teachers with an impossible choice. 

“We know that there have been challenges, but we also know that we should not be exposing more educators and students to this infection,” said Walker Kelly.