Largest School District in NC Calls Special Board Meeting to Consider Shutting Down Schools for Rest of Year

RALEIGH – Wake County Public Schools are attended by more children than any other school district in the state. Well, ‘attend’ is a relative term in the age of Pandemic Panic, and it looks as if students will not be allowed to actually attend school in-person for the rest of the year.

With positive coronavirus test results rising among students and staff, the Wake County School Board has called a special meeting to discuss switching back to fully remote instruction, with a vote coming as early as Tuesday.

According to the Board chairman, though, the pressure to abandon educating kids in person comes more from staffing shortages due to in-person exemptions and staff calling out. The panic means not enough teachers are showing up. From ABC11:

“[…] Wake County School Board chairman Keith Sutton told ABC11 the meeting, scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m., has to do with the education system’s ability to “adequately staff schools.”

In the span of a week, the school system has reported 80 COVID-19 cases; 33 of those being students with another 47 being staff members.

The meeting takes into account Gov. Roy Cooper’s newly modified executive order for the state of North Carolina.

Sutton says a vote could come as soon as Tuesday.

The Monday afternoon board agenda includes:

    • New and/or additional information or Executive Orders from the Governor
    • Collaboration with and learnings from state/local health officials and the ABC Science Collaborative
    • Monitoring implementation of our district’s current plan and programming […]”

Among those ‘learnings from science’ should be that students are far better off in school; that shutting schools actually harms them in terms of education and beyond. But those truths will all but certainly be buried by a pervading sense of fear, combined with an increasingly obvious paradigm in which teachers and school staff are coddled at the expense of children. A special treatment not afforded any other profession.

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It wasn’t long ago, even though it feels like ages, before coronavirus, when students falling behind over summer breaks was a perennial focus of concern. It is deemed ‘Summer Learning Loss’ and it (was?) supported by a widely acknowledged truth that gaps from school were bad for kids academically and otherwise. There would be news articles and local think pieces about how to keep your students engaged over the summer, so as to avoid the dreaded Summer Learning Loss.

Consider that rather 2019 mindset, and compare it to today, when kept schools shutdown for much of the year the real and undeniable costs have been neglected in favor of appeasing panic.

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