Parents Frustrated With Last-Minute Decision To Delay Return To School

Many parents are upset after Guilford County Schools made a last-minute decision to not have students return to school. Students in Pre-K through second grade were scheduled to return in person on Tuesday, but the district announced this wouldn't be the case in a Monday afternoon press conference, pointing to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in North Carolina.

"We understand that this is frustrating for our parents, students and staff, who have worked so hard to have schools ready [for Tuesday]," said Guilford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras. "This is frustrating for us as well. However, we rely on our public health partners, and when public health says the risk of transmission is in its highest category with no signs for improvement, as educators, we're going to listen."

Laura White has a first grade student at Joyner Elementary and wasn't happy with the decision, saying it should have been made last week. After hearing the news Monday, she had to clock out of work to make calls about finding childcare for the next day.

"I feel like it was a pretty rash decision so we were not happy because we felt like we only got 24 hours notice to completely change our childcare plan," said White.

Another parent, Lauren Jones, said the back-and-forth has been hard on her son, who started kindergarten virtually this year.

"I felt completely shocked and just I couldn't believe it was so last minute," she said. "It was literally the evening before he just got his haircut, new clothes. He was so excited to go to school in person."

She continued, "This is gonna be his first experience ever with that. It's just taken a toll with virtual learning. And finally, we feel like we get to a point where he's gonna be in person and have some normalcy and we were just shocked to learn that that's actually not gonna happen now."

Contreras said pre-K and kindergarten students who went back voluntarily can continue to attend in-person, but those who didn't will have to wait. WFMY reports that the district's decision on returning in-person depends on public heath metrics.

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