NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - While several school systems in southeastern North Carolina have elementary school students in class five days a week already, New Hanover County School system has yet to take that step.
Monday night, the county commissioners voiced support for school administrators to move forward with Plan A for elementary schools.
”That is so important,” said commission chairman Julia Olson-Boseman. “We have to do all we can to get our kids back in school full-time starting first with our pre-k through fifth graders, which I want our school board to make happen in January for the start of the semester.”
The second semester begins January 4th. If approved, in-person learning would begin January 11th for Pre-K, traditional and year-round elementary schools, following a week of previously determined remote learning days.
Commissioners gave the school system an additional $2.4 million dollars to help ensure the schools open safely. The board also approved a $750 dollar bonus to all school employees for their work during the pandemic, to be paid before Christmas.
”We want our teachers to be the best paid in the state; we want to attract the best teachers and we want our kids to be safe,” said Olson-Boseman. “I’m thrilled to invest in the schools and I’ll never apologize for paying teachers and school workers more money.”
Former school board member, now county commissioner, Bill Rivenbark, has expressed support for re-opening the schools for in-person learning. Now, he’s hoping to be the bridge between the two boards.
It’s important to note here that even though the commissioners voted to support a return to full-time, in-person learning for elementary schools, it’s not a guarantee it will happen. That decision is made by the Board of Education, which meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the Minnie Evans Arts Center.