Board votes in favor of Plan A for Pender elementary schools

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Pender County Board of Education has voted to reverse a decision it made last week about in-person learning for some students.

In a 3-1 vote on Tuesday afternoon, the board approved to transition into Plan A, full-time in-person learning, for grades K-5. The board says this reversal was brought on by increased feedback from parents following the decision to remain in Plan B.

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“We’ve had a lot of public input, people have emailed us, calls, some people have come in person,” said board chair Don Hall.

Under the current hybrid of in person and remote learning, elementary school students can only be in classrooms two days per week. Starting November 9, those students can return to the classroom four days per week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Wednesday will remain a remote learning day for everyone.

‘Wednesday is a much needed break to allow for some things to get caught up, such as online,” Hall said. “And I’m hoping this will improve the online experience as well for those who choose to remain online only.”

WWAY spoke to some Pender County parents to get their reaction. Father of three Daniel Lowderman says he’s excited.

“The kids’ education isn’t the same with the virtual, so we’ve been going with the Plan B of two days a week in-school, three days virtual,” Lowderman said. “It’s tough, I’m not a teacher, my wife’s not a teacher.”

Cary Bruton, father of a kindergartner agrees.

“We are very excited, our son is excited, we’ve been waiting for this day,” Bruton said. “The burden of having to find childcare that is also able to teach was extremely hard.”

Of course not everyone agrees. Mother of two Cherlynn Stone says she’s keeping her daughters virtual only due to health concerns. Her first grade daughter has lung issues.

“I just think virtual learning at this time is best, the numbers are just rising, they’re not going to go down and there’s already schools closed,” Stone said. “I mean flu season is coming in, how are they even going to know the difference between COVID and the flu.”

Click here for more information about the reopening.

A spokesman for Pender County Schools says additional information will be coming soon.