Local teachers, parents react to Governor Cooper’s school reopening plan

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Governor Roy Cooper says he wants to open schools next month for kids to go back in person.

The reopening of school could vary from district to disctrict.

‘Plan B’ means North Carolina schools will reopen in the fall with limited in-person capacity.

Parents will have the option for children to adopt ‘plan C,’ which involves completely remote learning.

Parents and teachers in the East say in-person instruction is very important for education.

Greene County eighth grade teacher, Lia Biscardi, says there are no ideal options, but plan B may be the happy medium.

“We’re not in Governor Roy Cooper’s shoes, but if we were, he has a tough decision to make,” said Biscardi. “I’m not a parent, but I probably understand talking to parents that there’s a big concern, so I think it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.”

Per plan B, all students and staff are required to wear face coverings and receive screenings before entering the school building.

Biscardi worries masks will become a distraction in class.

“If your behavioral aspect of the classroom is focused on making sure masks and safety, making sure people don’t touch each other, it’s going to be really hard to focus on learning itself,” she said.

Monica Conner’s daughter will be a first grader at Ridgewood Elementary.

Conner has made the decision that her child will return to school come August.

But as a single mom, she’s worried about the spread of the virus.

“You hear stuff that kids could possibly be carriers, so what if I get it and then my kids are left with no parents? That’s scary,” said Conner.

Pitt County Schools Public Information Officer, Jennifer Johnson, says Pitt County will have its official plan announced next week.

She says they will revise their plan based on Governor Cooper’s recommendations and present it to the school board Monday.

She wants parents to keep an open mind about what this school year will look like.

“School is not going to look like it did pre-COVID-19,” said Johnson. “We understand that, so we really need our parents to prepare and think about that and not get stuck in what school used to look like.”

Governor Cooper says a spike in North Carolina cases could lead to a switch to plan C for the whole state.

He and state health officials say the best way to avoid fully online instruction is for everyone to wear a mask in public during the weeks leading up to the start of school.

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