Officials have announced that Pitt County Schools will close on May 1 due to “a severe lack of adequate supervision.”
PCS said that on May 1 they will attend a rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh.
Officials said they have been monitoring the situation both externally and internally for many days.
“Externally, we are aware that NC teachers, the backbone of our system, are rallying to improve pay for all school employees, provide more school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other professionals to meet national standards, expand Medicaid for students and families, reinstate state retiree health benefits, and restore advanced degree pay. We are also aware that our parents and businesses are greatly impacted by unplanned changes in the school calendar.,” said a release. Internally, we have been monitoring the number of leave requests in direct comparison to the number of substitutes we have available to cover teacher absences and to provide a safe environment for our students.”
They said that within the last 48 hours, the number of leave requests has reached a critical level.
After much consideration, officials have determined that due to a severe lack of adequate supervision, they will not be able to operate schools safely on May 1.
Therefore, Pitt County Schools will be closed for students attending all traditional schools.
Non-traditional schools operating on a college schedule and on a college campus will remain open for students on May 1.
These schools include Pitt County Schools Early College High School on the campus of PCC and Innovation Early College High School on the campus of ECU.
“This has been a difficult decision to make,” says Superintendent Ethan Lenker. “Teachers are
rallying for the very things we’ve been lobbying for as well. We value our educators and the
issues they’re fighting for. We also have an obligation to our parents to provide excellent
instruction to students and timely communication. Our business partners are tremendous
supporters of our school system, and I know they are deeply affected when schools close, too.”
School Board Chair Anna Barrett Smith adds, “We deeply regret the strain that unexpectedly
closing schools creates. However, student and staff safety have to be our top priority, and we
are not confident that we can operate safely on May 1 with the number of anticipated teacher
absences. Our teachers and staff are our greatest resource, and the Board of Education will
continue to advocate on their behalf. We appreciate the support that our families and community provide to Pitt County Schools, and we hope that our teachers will continue to feel
May 1 will be an optional teacher workday for PCS staff, and all athletic events are still scheduled to be played.
Students will not have to make up the day missed, as the Pitt County Schools calendar provides more classroom instructional time than is required by the state of North Carolina.