NORTH CAROLINA - Governor Roy Cooper provided updates Wednesday on North Carolina schools reopening.
During a briefing, Cooper announced that state lawmakers have come to an agreement to reopen all schools.
Cooper announced a bill that tells North Carolina schools when and how to safely reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Getting students safely back into classrooms must be our shared priority. Today I announced an agreement with education, health & legislative leaders that will return schools to in person learning while retaining our ability to protect students and educators in an emergency. - RC pic.twitter.com/WsM21LkSGd— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) March 10, 2021
Senator Berger announced what the bill entails during the briefing Wednesday.
Under the bill, all elementary students would follow Plan A, full in-person learning.
Middle and high school students have the option to operate on either Plan A and Plan B (hybrid). Districts moving to Plan A are required to notify NCDDHS prior to moving to that plan in order to ensure proper plan and consultation. NCDDHS does not have the power to stop a district's move to Plan A.
The bill ensures that Cooper has the authority to order a closure, restriction or reduction of operations within schools, but must only do so on a district by district basis.
A local district also can close the school or classroom in case there is an outbreak.
All grades must provide parents the option for full time virtual learning.
Senator Berger said they hope to have the bill move in the Senate Wednesday and will then head to the House.
Once signed into law, school districts technically have 21 days to open, but could also open immediately if they choose.