Governor wants all districts to return students to classrooms

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Roy Cooper, joined by top education and state officials, called on K-12 school districts across the state to return to in-person instruction for all students — while maintaining an option for remote learning for students and teachers.

“Protecting the health and safety of the people of this state, especially our children and our teachers, has been our goal,” said Governor Cooper. “We know school is important for reasons beyond academic instruction. School is where students learn social skills, get reliable meals, and find their voices. Research done right here in North Carolina tells us that in-person learning is working and that students can be in classrooms safely with the right safety protocols in place.”

Cooper was joined by NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt and State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis in urging a return to in-classroom instruction.

Cohen said the science shows in-person learning is safe, albeit with proper safety protocols in place.

Read the updated StrongSchools NC Public Health Toolkit.

“Even with the thousands of students and teachers attending school in-person across the state, we have seen few COVID-19 clusters in our public schools,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Our Department will continue to serve our school communities, offering resources and support so we can keep our school doors open.”

Increasing evidence suggests that there are low rates of COVID-19 transmission in primary and secondary school settings even with high rates of community transmission. Studies also show that children infected with COVID-19 generally have mild or no symptoms, and are less likely to spread the disease.

“Learning loss resulting from COVID has the potential to be a generational hurdle, but the data we have seen shows us that schools can reopen safely if they adhere to COVID prevention policies,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt. “For many schools, the logistics of returning to in-person instruction five days per week will be a challenge, but this is absolutely a challenge we must face head on so that all students have a chance to fulfill their potential. With strong prevention measures in place, and the scientific research to back them, now is the time to act. North Carolina’s students cannot lose any more time.”

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