Pender county schools reassures everything is being done for a safe reopen

Pender County Schools classrooms to open tomorrow

PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - In-person learning will start for students in Pender County on Tuesday, one day later than originally scheduled. School leaders say they postponed because a shipment of Personal Protective Equipment for teachers and staff was late arriving to the county.

Now that the equipment has arrived, the school board hopes the P-P-E will ease at least one concern raised by a group of teachers in Pender County. The teachers wrote to the board on Friday detailing why they are not comfortable returning to class.

“The variable is your employees,” said Don Hall, Board of Education chairman. “We were hoping everyone could make this work out but we’ve had some staff that have had issues with this. Hopefully we can find a way to keep everything right here.”

The concern from teachers doesn’t startle Erica McDaniel, who chose in-person learning for her two children. She understands the possible risk but believes the school system has done everything it could to re-open safely.

“The teachers are right to have their concerns, the board of education is right to try to make the best of the middle ground and the compromise we can have,” said McDaniel. “But at the end of the day there are still kids that need to be back in the classrooms, so I feel really comfortable with where Pender county has drawn the lines.”

Hall admits there is a learning curve as school systems work to bring students back to class. But he's confident in the plan the board and administrators have put together to make sure students and staff are safe.

“I think as long as everyone follows the guidelines that the CDC has put out and also that our local health department has put out,” said Hall. “I think as long as everyone does those things and does them carefully everything should be fine. I can’t say that it can be a perfect system, nothing is.”

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