BEAUFORT — Carteret County public school officials will discuss reopening plans Tuesday night after state officials urged wider in-person instruction across North Carolina districts.
The Carteret County Board of Education is set to meet at 6 p.m. in the central services building in Beaufort.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and other state leaders urged local school district officials to consider reopening with safety protocols in place, but is leaving it up to each school district to decide what that will look like.
Carteret County Schools Public Information Officer Tabbie Nance said officials watched the conference and would discuss it tonight.
“There will be more follow up and Dr. Jackson (Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson) will certainly have something tonight at the board meeting,” she said.
Carteret County public schools currently follow Plan A for elementary classrooms and Plan B for middle and high schools. Elementary students attend in person five days a week and middle and high schools do a hybrid of in-person and remote learning. Some students remain fully remote.
During his press conference, Gov. Cooper said students and staff who want to continue remotely should be able to.
The governor did not issue additional executive orders regarding reopening “because the school systems that we have talked to want to know what the state believes regarding getting schools back open in person,” Gov. Cooper said.
“We are giving them that guidance today, along with public health guidance, and let them make decisions accordingly,” he continued.
State officials cited studies indicating coronavirus transmission in schools is reportedly low if safety measures are in place. Safety measures specified included enforcing social distancing, mask wearing at all times, screening for fevers, wiping down high touch surfaces and other protocols.
Teachers are considered “essential workers” and in a phase of vaccine distribution that is currently not eligible to receive the vaccine.
Tuesday afternoon, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said vaccine quantities are still very limited.
Regarding extracurricular activities, state officials said they do not recommend “indoor contact sports” for students over concerns of higher transmissibility, and recommend masks and other safety protocols concerning non-contact sports. Carteret County Schools is offering some indoor sports, like basketball, with mask wearing required.