Stanly County Schools shifts to all-remote learning after community experiences spike in cases of coronavirus

Stanly County Schools has shifted to all-remote learning.

The move comes two weeks after third-grade teacher Mrs. Julie Davis died after contracting the coronavirus. The school district has operated under a mix of remote and in-person instruction since August.

The Stanly County Board of Education met Saturday and voted to move to remote instruction Oct. 14 through Oct. 30 due to increased community spread of the virus.

“There is a rise of the positivity rate of COVID-19 in Stanly County,” the school board said in a statement posted on the district’s website. “Therefore, the Board of Education is compelled to make this decision due to depletion of critical resources because of the rise of COVID-19 within our community.”

Julie Davis

Cases of coronavirus in Stanly County have nearly doubled since students returned to classes on Aug. 17, when their were 1,224 reported cases and 31 deaths. There are now 2,187 cases and 57 deaths.

Mrs. Davis taught at Norwood Elementary School for two years. According to news accounts, Mrs.  Davis quarantined after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms Sept. 25.

Parents of children in Davis’ class were told Sept. 29 that their children must quarantine for 14 days because of possible exposure to a staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Stanly County Health Department Director David Jenkins has said Mrs. Davis did not contract the virus at work. A Norwood student tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

“The school district’s primary consideration is always to make the best decisions possible for the health and safety of all students, staff, and our community,” the board said. “We must all continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus during this pandemic.”

Teachers across the state have increasingly expressed concern about their safety as school districts plan to reopen for full-time, in-person instruction following Gov. Roy Cooper’s announcement last month that they may do so starting Oct. 5.

Wake County teachers protested outside of a recent school board meeting and warned that plans to reopen elementary schools and middle schools for in person instruction places the lives of students and teachers at risk.

And the head of the Wayne County Association of Educators called on the school board in that county to close schools for in-person instruction after seven teachers and a custodian tested positive for the coronavirus at Brogden Primary School.

The N.C. Association of Educators has asked teachers to lobby school districts to not reopen schools for full-time, in-person instruction until the coronavirus is under control.


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