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WS/FCS reacts to Gov. Cooper’s remarks

Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper encouraged school districts in the state to reopen and offer in-person learning for all students. The Strong Schools N.C. Toolkit was also updated encouraging schools to return to in-person instruction five days per week to the fullest extent possible while still following all public health protocols.

In response to the Cooper’s statements and the toolkit updates, WS/FCS Interim Superintendent Tricia McManus said, “Our plan has always been focused on getting all our students in school, as many days as possible. We know students learn best, in person. We are well on our way to alignment with the governor’s request as our Pre-K to third grade students already have the option to learn in person four days a week. We continue to look at the safest way to get other grades in the school buildings more often. We are committed to making this happen.”

McManus also noted that as of Feb. 22, the remaining high school students in grades, 10,11 and 12 will return to in-person learning. At that time, all WS/FCS students will be operating in Plan B with options for in-person learning and remote learning. She noted Tuesday’s updated guidance from the state will help the WS/FCS COVID Planning Team and the Board of Education Special COVID Committee continue updating the district’s plans.

McManus went on to say, “One important part of getting all students back into school safely is having the state join us in our efforts to help our teachers and other employees feel safer by offering them the vaccine. We must adhere to state health guidelines that currently limit access to the vaccine to only those employees over 65 years old. I think if the state will soon grant access to the vaccine, regardless of age, that will really move us toward a successful Plan A implementation.”

In conjunction with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health roughly 200 WS/FCS Employees over age 65 will get round one of the COVID vaccine on Wednesday. The district partnered with Novant Health to host a vaccination clinic last week. More than 400 district employees age 65 and over including teacher’s assistants, bus drivers, child nutrition, teachers and more were vaccinated during that clinic. WS/FCS currently has over 800 employees age 65 and over. In total the district has nearly 10,000 employees including substitute teachers and contractors.