GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Public schools across North Carolina remain closed due to COVID-19. With that change, students are now learning from home, leaving many families wondering what will happen when they are able to reopen.

Happening Thursday Night, Public Schools First NC will hold an online conversation about the challenges that administrators, teachers, students, and even parents may face once schools open.

Mark Jewell with the North Carolina Association of Educators tells 9 On Your Side that he understands that social distancing is hard in classrooms with 30 or 40 kids in them.

That’s what he says opportunities to collaborate either online or in-person are important, especially when talking about school safety during a pandemic.

“We’re having conversations all across the state of North Carolina about what that reentry is gonna look like. Make sure that the health and safety of our students and educators must be at the forefront of any of those decisions that are made and that public school educators and parents and community members must be involved in those discussions,” Mark Jewell, President, North Carolina Association of Educators

He adds that this time of remote learning has filled in some gaps, but has also exposed a lot of inequities that need to be addressed.

“Huge inequities in communities, urban and rural, rich and poor, communities of color and that many of our students are being left behind during these gaps and it is our public school system that should be leading the way,” said Jewell

The virtual panel “When Public Schools Reopen: A Conversation with Education Leaders and Advocates” is happening Thursday, May 7th at 8 pm. To sign up click HERE