Plan B or C? Parents of NHCS students prepare for possible school changes

Parents prepare for potential move to Plan B

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County Board of Education will decide how school will move forward this year on Tuesday.

The board decided to begin the school year under plan C back in July and Lori Mosher and her husband were devastated.

“My husband and I were both hoping for Plan B,” said Mosher. “Because that one-on-one interaction for someone coming in to kindergarten, and also for a special needs child, we thought was pretty, pretty important.”

Mosher’s two girls go to Anderson Elementary; one in kindergarten and the other in third grade. Her oldest has an IEP and other issues that make learning from home very difficult.

“She has four Zooms a day,” said Mosher. “In between that we we do all her schoolwork plus they need to do specials, so we’re also doing art and music and gym stuff.”

Mosher and her husband work full time on top of helping their children navigate school.

“It’s difficult," said Mosher. "I don’t get any breaks. It’s go, go, go from like six in the morning, setting everything up and getting the kids up until like nine at night when it’s bedtime. I don’t get a break myself for lunch because I have to catch up on any work that I haven’t been able to do you know? So it’s...it’s tough, it’s stressful.”

Krysten Woods has three kids; a second and third grader at Eaton Elementary and a sixth grader at Holly Shelter. She and her husband are both at home most of the time, but she says that doesn’t make their situation easier. She says her children are having a hard time adapting to learning from home.

“[The oldest] has been a straight-A student her whole life," said Woods. “This year... she’s struggling. She actually has her first C right now, and she’s devastated over it. It’s just...it’s been really hard for her transitioning into middle school.”

Like Mosher, Woods has wanted her kids inside a classroom in some capacity since the beginning.

“Let the parents make the decision...give them options," said Woods. “If parents want to send their children to school, let that be an option. The teachers that are okay with teaching at school, or the children that really need to be at school and have that face-to-face instruction. If parents want to stay home with their kids... wonderful, that’s your option to do so. For me, I’m very frustrated on that aspect of everybody’s home. Everybody’s gonna stay at home with no idea when it’s gonna end.”

Woods fears if her third grader doesn’t get back into a classroom soon, she’ll have to hold him back a year.

“I’m very concerned that he’s going to end up behind,” said Woods. “I have a feeling, coming up within the next few months, he’s going to have an IEP. He’s gonna end up in retention classes and might even end up being held back a grade because of us.”

Another parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, says it’s time for the parents who want their kids in school to be given a chance.

“We need to trust our schools to handle reopening,” said the parent to WECT. “When do we decide it’s ‘safe?’ How much longer can we keep parents out of work and children behind learning on a computer?”

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