• 59°

Editorial: Consistency best plan for schools

Gov. Roy Cooper may have meant well by telling schools last week they’re able return to a normal, in-person schedule for grades K-5, but logistical questions about doing that loom large, perhaps too large to expect changes any time soon.

Rowan-Salisbury School Board member Dean Hunter said as much during a meeting this week. A self-proclaimed cheerleader for sending all students to school in person on a normal schedule, Hunter said it’s not wise to abandon the current, blended model without more information.

“I don’t think we’re ready,” he said.

There are questions about transporting students in a time when social distancing is still a best practice on school buses as well as other basic logistics of the school day. That Cooper’s announcement came as a surprise for educators across the state didn’t help.

Yes, in-person learning offers many benefits for individual education over a model that splits the week between in-person and online classes. But particularly now, in the middle of a semester, is it wise to change everything? Educators across the district already spent many emotional sleepless nights trying to finalize plans in place now. What compelling reason exists to reverse course now?

Data being collected by Rowan-Salisbury Schools staff for a future school board meeting will help make a determination. If data prove, or even raise the specter, that learning among a significant swath of students has stalled or is progressing too slowly, it may be worthwhile to make the switch.

That switch could look something like Union County, which chose to move to four days of in-person learning, with Friday as a virtual day. School board member Josh Wagner this week offered a similar possibility, suggesting that RSS keep Wednesday as a virtual-only day if there is a change.

Wagner also offered an opinion that seems all too prescient now for Republicans and Democrats: politics is playing too large a role in decisions about schools. Consistency, not incremental decisions, is best for K-12 schoolchildren, he said.

“There is constant uncertainty and upheaval,” Wagner said. “And I’m sorry that we don’t have folks that are elected, at higher levels than we are certainly, to make better decisions and to make them more effectively without worrying about their seat or their paycheck. I’m really mostly sorry for the children who are still sitting at home who we have to worry about.”

With cases in schools relatively low across the state and clusters few and far between, it was OK for Cooper to offer the ability to switch to plan A (all in-person classes) to schools. But it’s best to aim for consistency in any plan unless the negatives are too great or the logistical hurdles are manageable. While there are no easy decisions in education today, Cooper could make things slightly easier by ensuring superintendents and educators tasked with implementing changes aren’t caught by surprise during live-streamed press conferences.



Mother, son killed in weekend homicide

Ask Us

Ask Us: What are plans if hospitals reach COVID-19 capacity?


County tops 38,000 ballots cast during early, absentee voting


Political Notebook: Rowan Board of Elections receives more than 60,000 pens for voters


New storm Zeta a hurricane threat to Mexico, US Gulf Coast


Blotter: Teenager charged with felony firearm and drug offenses


GOP slowly gaining nationwide as early vote total surpasses 2016


BlockWork returns for 10th year of beautification


Big Chili Cook Off changes format, sells 250 tickets


Kiwanis Club names five recipients of Centennial Awards


Rowan County bridge dedicated to local police officer who made ultimate sacrifice


Camp Barnhardt to host drive-in movie, trick-or-treat


Spicing things up: Mise En Place food truck finds success serving Indian fare


Church foundation distributes record amount of money


Biz Roundup: ‘Forward Rowan’ continues to draw support, raise money


School board set to vote on Faith, Enochville closures Monday


Local health officials worry pandemic will cause long-term effects for children’s health


Ordinance change needed to address night train noise in Salisbury


Election 2020: Heggins, Warren talk racial injustice, economy


Cunningham keeps low in NC Senate race marked by his affair


Two bodies found in home on Lincolnton Road


Man arrested in Kannapolis plotted to kill Biden, found with guns, explosive material, court documents state


Flagger clipped by vehicle, taken to hospital with minor injuries


County finishes week with five deaths, one of 36 to receive letter from state health officials