Carteret County Board of Education members have made a decision “finally” on how county schools will operate under Governor Cooper’s mandates. We note editorially that this was “finally” done, not because of any delay on the county board’s part but rather on the delayed determination by the governor which has left schools across the state with only a short window to create plans for restarting the traditional school year.

None of the solutions will be solved quickly or cheaply. And most definitely any of the decisions will be difficult for most if not all participants - teachers, students and parents.

But the board did what it was supposed to do - make a decision so that county schools, their staff and students could get on with the task at hand. In conclusion the board was faced with a lose-lose option.

The board and the schools were ill served by the intransigence of the former board chairman, Travis Day, who complained throughout the five and half hour meeting Wednesday about the options, arguing that the students needed to be in the classroom.

The board voted 4-2 to utilize a hybrid school schedule, breaking the students into two cohort groups, A and B. One group will be in the classroom Monday and Tuesday, the other group attending Thursday and Friday, allowing the schools to clean the classrooms on the days between class attendance. During the three days not in the classroom, the students will attend classes remotely.

All the board members and the school staff agreed with Mr. Day at various times during the meeting but they continued to hear the presentations and to work with the realities of the moment. There is no question students, parents and teachers suffer with any of the three scenarios.

Board Chairman John McLean agreed with Mr. Day’s concern but also pointed out that current circumstances - fear of the spread of the virus and governmental dictates - gave the board few options. “Everyone agrees that the ultimate goal is to get students back in the classroom five days a week but we can’t realistically do that right now,” he stated during the meeting.

Mr. Day’s continued harping did nothing to move the program along. It lengthened the meeting unnecessarily and in the process gave the impression that he had little concern for the physical health of the teachers, staff and children.

The board could have better utilized its time in the meeting by discussing alternative solutions by utilizing existing services. One example is establishing means for students or parents accessing tutorial services, since more than half of the classes will be via remote access that restricts one-on-one communications with teachers. Another concern that needs immediate attention is how students who lack adequate facilities will conduct their classroom activities.

There are so many unanswered questions that should have been asked but were not, and as a result the community writ large remains in the dark.

Mr. Day’s continued complaints did result in the board agreeing to revisit the plans two weeks after school starts but that will be of little value for any long range planning. It will take more than two weeks, more likely two months, to fully understand the impact of this schedule.

As the meme goes, “It is what it is,” which means the current situation is a fact and has to be accepted as such. For the school board to ignore the realities of the moment would be a travesty and a loss of an opportunity to make long range plans that will at least ameliorate the problems and may coincidentally create new opportunities.

Education in our schools will change radically for the short term and possibly longer. It won’t be easy or comfortable but at least there is a semblance of a plan that will, by necessity, be changing as conditions dictate.

Now is not the time to say “no” but rather a time to be imaginative and innovative when it comes to teaching our children.

(14) comments

Osprey

We are all in a no win situation including Cooper. If he made a decision in June many would say it was premature. Exactly what would have changed with an additional week or two ? There were the same options regardless timing. The hybrid plan B appears to present quite a difficult task for the teachers who are expected to be in the classroom and teach online at the same time. the only answer is throwing more money at the problem. Keeping consistent with the current spending trend we should go ahead and build all new schools to accommodate social distancing with larger classrooms, wider hallways and double the number of teachers and staff. Purchase a fleet of sprinter vans to help with transportation needs and hire private delivery to bring PB & J sandwiches to those who cannot make their own lunch. And new free standing gyms of course which can serve to "bring venues" to the area and be used as temporary hospitals if needed.

dc

Opinions? Everybody has one. Something that's not an opinion but fact is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with plenty of help from the World Health Organization (WHO) is responsible for what the world has gone through & will continue to go through for the foreseeable future. This should be taught in the homes & schools of America now & forever. And, any sane person shouldn't let Leftists try to convince them otherwise. The violence & tumult being perpetrated by various Leftist factions with plenty of help from the Leftist D Party whose primary goal before & after the 2016 election was & still is to destroy a duly elected president & our country if necessary to attain their goal of total power over you & your future.

Sleepwalker

DC...you said it all. Lord help us.

JohnnyR

HELP!!! The Lefties are coming to get us and destroy us one and all! Everything is one big CONSPIRACY!!

Step away from the Fox News guys.

David Collins

You have a valid point JohnnyR . After all this is a general election year . Plenty of conspiring going about but precious little baby kissing this go around . Sadly , with 300+ million folks to choose from we are stuck with a rapidly declining career politician that barely knows what day it is and a incumbent that acts like a jackass at times . Heck , I have my jackass moments myself so we share a commonality . Going to have to vote with my wallet on this one , the bottom line has never been better . And that , my friend , is , where the rubber hits the road and the BS walks .

Sleepwalker

Vote for the career politician that really has no great accomplishments to hang his hat on except maybe being the vp of an administration that absolutely killed an already fragile economy and expected us to live with it as the new norm...and he backed down corn pop or the big orange dude billionaire that brought the economy back to a good spot until the virus hit.

David Collins

What the heck is a corn pop ? Is it a disfigurement of an overly muddled imagination ?

dc

JR, did I dream you posted that you now own a gun & will vote for Trump? As I recall the remainder of that post made you sound serious. So, the entire post was sarcasm or a joke? Retread snyone?

Sleepwalker

Collins...corn pop is one of bidens stories...as a young man he backed down some black dude nicknamed “corn pop”...while working as a lifeguard. He actually told it to the press...”you have my word as a biden”...

David Collins

Gee whiz , Sleepwalker , thanks for the info . Guess even back then Biden was tough on the black folks . Had no idea the D’s had such a manly type A man on the ticket . Have to rethink things for , to be sure , he is a true legend in his own mind . Actually know of a couple more that fit that mold and socialist driven to the core they are . Comforting !

JohnnyR

I've always owned guns dc and probably will vote for Trump over Biden. But I can't understand how anyone can be 100% right or left when both sides have so many flaws? The right has just as many unethical representatives as the left, maybe more so based on how most of them are puppets for big corporations. The only way you can be so one-sided (based on your many, many posts) is you only read one side of the story.

If all you do is watch Fox News, you'll likely believe Democrats are evil, same for the left that only watches CNN. All being played like fools and can't see it.

dc

Yes, both parties have their flaws but the D Party takes the cake. What did racist LBJ say about the black vote for the D Party? The D Party of old supported a white racist organization in its quest for unconstrained power. Today's D Party supports a black racist organization in its quest for unconstrained power. Funny how times change but the D Party hasn't.

Sleepwalker

John R,

The left has mucho billionaires also...the left has just as many big business types driving them as the right. I’m of the opinion that big biz plays ball (controls) with all of them. The right and left just keep everyone stirred up because it’s good for the big biz of politics. The leftist folks don’t practice what they preach...they want everyone else to be tolerant, live amongst folks they don’t want to, give up their guns, pay big taxes... mean while they aren’t doing that at all. I don’t know one democrat that has homeless people or illegals camped out in their living room... feeding them, covering med cost, clothing them etc. they want EVERYONE else to do it thru taxes. The liberal elites want legal firearms confiscated EXCEPT the ones their private security detail carry. The democrat leftists do NOT practice what they preach at all. My question to everyone who votes D is, do you do any of things I listed above?

David Collins

JohnnyR , I watch Fox News , not constantly for I would blow my brains out for sure and my young bride likes to match David Muir on channel 12 . I tolerate it for as long as I can , not long , then feel the urge to vomit . They all are bad , but the alphabet news shows are totally beyond redemption .

With that said , our circle of friends and relatives are mostly democrats . Of the Democrats none are employed in what is known as blue collar working jobs . They range from education jobs , various health care jobs , government jobs and spending inherited wealth while making pottery and driving BMWs and the occasional HD motorcycle . They are nice folks , wouldn’t hurt a fly but see the world totally differently . Have no idea how things work outside of their bubbles and have never nor would they remotely consider serving in the military nor their children as well . Believe this is where the story line for the movie Clueless came from . Nice gig if you can get it .

Bottom line , I guess this is the divide that is causing the angst . Sadly , if everything goes tango uniform these folks will find out how expendable they are in the brave new world they are championing .

Ok , I have posted my two cents worth and time will certainly tell . Always does .

Welcome to the discussion.

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