Implement Plan C (Virtual Learning) for WCPSS Schools
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On July 2nd, 2020, the School Board of the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) decided to implement Plan B of Gov. Roy Cooper's structured reopening, which would allow WCPSS students to receive in-person instruction for one week out of every three.
Plan B includes a series of precautions that aim to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) . Unfortunately, these measures will do very little to protect students and staff from the virus' spread. The plan does not acknowledge that social distancing is only as effective as the most confined settings allow. Hallways, doorways, lunch lines, and buses are unavoidable incubators in which COVID-19 will thrive. Couple this with the fact that students must remove masks for activities such as eating, drinking, and exercising, and it is clear that beginning school virtually is the only way to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19.
Infections among WCPSS staff occured back in March, when the number of confirmed cases in the state was nine. Now that North Carolina harbors over 31,000 active infections of COVID-19, there is no way to keep students and staff safe from an outbreak if in-person schooling resumes.
In light of this information, we humbly ask that the members of the School Board reconsider their positions concerning the health of the more than 160,000 students and 19,000 employees that comprise the fabric of the Wake County Public School System. Science is telling us that the School Board’s decision to implement Plan B’s intermittent in-person instruction could have grave consequences if it is not rescinded before the year begins. Plan C, which displays a sincere commitment to student, staff, and community health, is the only option that truly protects those whom our School Board is trusted to serve.
We also ask that Governor Cooper, or Senate Leader Phil Berger and NC House Speaker Tim Moore call a special session of the NC General Assembly in order to allow school districts to begin the first week of school online. Currently, Section 2.11(b)(2)c. of the 2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act, passed in May, prohibits this style of reopening. However, any of the officials listed above can call a special session to overturn this statute before the school year begins, and return control of our schools to the students, staff, and communities that they serve.
Ultimately, a Plan C reopening can easily transition to in-person schooling when such a style becomes safe. However, if the school year begins with Plan B, it will harm members of our community in ways that are irreversible. Please sign my petition, which urges the School Board to reconsider its decision, and urges Governor Cooper, Speaker Moore, and Senate Leader Berger to take the actions necessary to begin school virtually for the safety of all students and staff in Wake County and beyond.
Please also consider reading the letter which I have sent to the School Board of Wake County, and the offices of the elected officials mentioned above, explaining in detail why in-person schooling places our entire community at risk. This letter can be found at: www.tiny.cc/VirtualNC
Please send questions or comments concerning this petition to the following address: email@example.com
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