Parents urge Brunswick County Schools to reconsider reopening plans

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The start of the school year is less than four weeks away, but some parents in Brunswick County are asking the school district to reconsider plans to start the year with remote learning.

“We feel, as parents, we’re not getting an option,” mom Robin Moffitt said.

The Brunswick County School Board voted Tuesday to start the year fully remote for four and a half weeks, then switch to a rotating hybrid plan.

Some parents feel blindsided though, saying this reopening plan was never discussed prior to the school board meeting Tuesday.

“That was never an option given on any of the surveys we ever saw, was four and a half weeks of remote learning,” mom Monika Satterwhite said.

A group of parents are pushing the school board to reconsider. Based on a survey sent out, the district says 3,500 students signed up for a full semester of remote learning, putting around 11,000 back in the classroom.

“We’re really not against families who want to have a fully remote alternative this year, but we just wanted that school choice that was laid out by Governor Cooper’s plan,” mom Melanie Roberts said.

Several parents started the Facebook group, ‘Brunswick County Families for Safely Reopening Schools.’ They’re asking the board to hold an emergency meeting next week to reconsider the reopening plans.

“They wanted this additional four and half weeks, but I feel like they’ve had four and a half months to be prepared for this,” Roberts said. “Governor Cooper set out the plan for the safe Schools NC on June 8th, so in my opinion, they should’ve been working on Plan A, Plan B and Plan C since June 8th.”

Several moms suggested pushing back the start date of school to get the ‘toolbox’ of safety procedures in place.

“We really support a school choice, and we support a remote learning option for parents who don’t feel comfortable, for whatever reason that is, to not send their kids to school,” Satterwhite said.

On Tuesday, Superintendent Dr. Jerry Oates said, “school wouldn’t be school,” and the safety protocols would be extremely difficult to carry out logistically.

On the other hand, some of the most recent CDC guidelines emphasize the importance of getting kids back in the classroom.

“Implement the toolkit to put our kids safely in school. If that means two days a week, we’ll take to days a week,” Satterwhite said.

Some parents also say they’re willing to help out in whatever ways they can to help get things in place for students to return to the classroom.

“And we do have very committed parents and families in the community who are standing, ready, waiting to assist in whatever fashion needed.”

A school spokesman says there are currently no plans for an emergency meeting.

He says a more detailed ‘A/B’ day plan will be presented to the board at its meeting August 4.

Categories: Brunswick, Local, News

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