BEAUFORT — Carteret County school system Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson announced on Facebook Monday public schools will not offer a virtual learning option to students for the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year.
“Unfortunately, following a survey of current Carteret County Public Schools parents and parents with students in private or homeschools, the number of potential virtual students is insufficient to make a virtual program viable at this time for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade,” Dr. Jackson said in the post. “Online coursework will be available for high school students. School administrators will be reaching out directly to those who had expressed interest in virtual learning.”
Dr. Jackson continued that the district plans to open the school year with face-to-face learning in all grades and “will be working hard to continue to provide a safe and successful learning environment for all students.”
Of the parents surveyed, 117 expressed interest in the virtual option.
One parent, Jamie Griffin of Newport, expressed concern about the decision in the comment section of the post.
“What if the new virus comes here worse,” she said, adding that she was considering pulling her children from the school system.
Parent Cheryl Smith of Morehead City, who has a student going into the ninth grade at West Carteret High School, said she had already planned to send her daughter back into the classroom because her daughter is vaccinated.
“I understand and support the school system’s decision to not offer virtual schooling for the coming year given that those who wish to be protected have been vaccinated,” she said Wednesday morning. “In addition, if folks really don’t want their kids in the classroom, there are a variety of options available — homeschooling, NC Virtual Academy, NC Virtual Public School just to name a few.”
Dr. Jackson said they are still waiting for further guidance from the state regarding students and staff wearing masks. Currently, students and employees are required to wear masks while inside school buildings.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.