Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras plans to ask school board members to make a long-term decision about whether to continue trying to reopen schools prior to winter
GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — The Guilford County Board of Education will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m.
The district has been going back and forth on reentry plans for weeks: announcing plans and then canceling them based on the county’s health metrics.
But Tuesday night is supposed to be different. Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras has said the week-to-week decisions aren’t working for working families.
With that in mind, she plans to ask school board members to make a long-term decision about whether to continue trying to reopen schools prior to winter break, or to wait until January.
“Our families need time to plan and make the appropriate arrangements for their children,” Contreras said.
President of the Guilford County Association of Educators, Todd Warren, argued that teachers also need time.
Contreras’ latest proposal would have first and second graders returning on November 12. That’s this Thursday.
“Just two days for educators to get ready to get back in the classroom is not enough,” Warren stated. “I know some people think, well we’ve been out for months but remote learning and in-person instruction are not interchangeable.”
Warren also had concerns about the metrics. The COVID-19 positivity rate is currently 7.3% according to the Guilford County Health Department.
“A return to in-person instruction right now appears to us to be a very dangerous proposition,” Warren said.
Dr. Contreras said three new factors also need to be taken into consideration: academic outcomes for students, mental health, and how reentry has gone for other big school districts across the country.
“There seems to be a misconception that the superintendent is preventing us from reopening or is ignoring the board’s directives to follow the metrics,” Board Chair Deena Hayes said. “The fact that most students are not in school makes it clear that the superintendent is adhering to the board’s adopted metrics.”
The school board will review the latest data and the community health metrics they put in place to drive school reopening decisions at the November 10 meeting.
The last Board of Education meeting on October 13 lasted five hours.