Pender County Schools approves Plan A for K-5 students

Pender County Schools to transition to Plan A

BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - Pender County School Board voted 3-1 to approve Plan A for K-5 students at a meeting Tuesday afternoon; vice chairman Ken Smith cast the dissenting vote .

The planned start date for Plan A in Pender County is November 9; students will then attend school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday being a cleaning day inside of the schools.

While some parents are happy about the move, teachers on the other hand are concerned about their health and safety. Louis Amigo is a PE teacher at Rocky Point Elementary and said Plan B was working just fine. Now, there’s a whole lot more to figure out.

“Plan B was working,” said Amigo. "Kids were doing what they were supposed to, social distancing was there and now the kids are going to be back there’s a lot of unanswered questions still... What happens if I get it, do I bring it home to my family? And yes I have kids of my own, what if I take it home to my parents?

Board Chairman Don Hall said, they just needed the appropriate time to look at all of the numbers and get a look at the data before making a decision to move forward.

Plan A, recently approved by Governor Roy Cooper on September 17, is the option where all K-5 students can return to school in-person.

Earlier in October, 70 percent of teachers said in a survey that they were not comfortable with going back to school for full-time, in-person instruction under Plan A.

According to a news release from Pender County Schools, all elementary school students will have the option to come to campus under Plan A or be entirely remote learners.

In order to gather information on which students are planning to return to a physical classroom and which are intending to learn remotely, Pender County Schools will be sending elementary families an intent form via email on Wednesday, October 21. Paper copies of the form will also be available upon request by contacting your school. This form must be completed and returned to the district by the end of business on Monday, October 26. Any student who chooses to be engaged in online-only learning on November 9 must remain in that plan through the end of the semester, which concludes on December 22.

With this change, students may experience some changes to assigned teachers and bus schedules depending on class size mandates and the total number of students allowed on a bus.

In a recent survey sent to families electing to do only remote learning, 1126 families responded and more than 60 percent said they would not be returning to in-person learning for the revised Plan B.

At the last meeting on October 13, board members voted against Plan A and decided to transition to a revised Plan B (AA/BB) option beginning November 2. This would have meant a 13 percent daily increase in students attending in-person instruction.

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