Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that public schools in North Carolina will remain closed for normal operations for the remainder of this school year. Schools were originally scheduled to be closed through May 15. Students are currently continuing their schoolwork via various remote learning methods.
State Superintendent Mark Johnson said that while there was hope schools could eventually reopen this school year, the current COVID-19 situation in North Carolina does not make that possible.
“Teachers, staff, and students were hopeful that they could return to the classroom, but that is just not practical at this point,” said Superintendent Johnson. “However, I want to assure everyone that this will not be the new normal. While this crisis has forced us to be reactive over the last month, plans for next school year are already underway and will be proactive. We will share more on these proactive measures soon.”
Superintendent Johnson praised the work that educators and parents across North Carolina have done to help students continue their studies while schools have been closed.
“We all had to switch to remote learning overnight,” said Superintendent Johnson. “Many children, like my own, are working through the difficult emotional toll of this frightening time. And, we are all stuck at home; all day, every day.”
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has continued to work to ensure that students and families have the resources they need. That not only includes providing ways to get instructional materials to students, but also making sure they have access to things such as proper nutrition. DPI has been working closely with local school districts to provide whatever assistance they might need during this time.
At a special called meeting yesterday, the State Board of Education approved a plan on how grading will work in public schools for the current school year. Information on that plan can be found here.
In light of the Governor’s announcement that students will not return to schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, the State Board’s decision to not seek progress monitoring data for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, and the novel needs K-3 students, educators, and parents will face next school year, DPI has terminated the June 2019 Read to Achieve diagnostic tool contract and will immediately begin a new process to procure one, uniform reading diagnostic tool before the start of the 2020-21 school year.