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NC public schools will continue remote schooling through end of school year

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Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday that NC's public schools would continue remote instruction through the end of the school year, following an announcement that he would be extending the state's stay-at-home order through May 8.

Public schools across the state will continue remote instruction through the remainder of the school year, Governor Roy Cooper announced Friday.

The state plans to reopen traditional schools in the fall, Cooper said. Procedures for summer schooling efforts, including year-round schools and summer camps, will depend on how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves in the coming months. 

Cooper said he understands the stress these changes may cause for parents and children, but the decision to continue remote schooling provides crucial protection for the health of North Carolina's students. 

“It’s such a confusing time to be a child, and it’s a hard time to be a parent, especially a working parent,” Cooper said. 

Although the state-mandated period of remote instruction does not extend to private schools, Cooper said he hoped private school administrations would keep in mind statewide social distancing guidance as they considered when to reopen. 

“We hope that they are following guidelines that have been provided by the Department of Health and Human Services," Cooper said.

Eric Davis, chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Education, said the support of “first-responder” teachers has been and will continue to be crucial to ensuring student success in remote learning environments. 

"Never in our history have collaboration and teamwork been more important," Davis said.

Davis said school employees, including teachers, will continue to be paid for the work they do until the end of the scheduled school year. 

He also encouraged school district leaders across the state to continue to find work for hourly employees like custodians and bus drivers when possible.

"We need their talents to continue our emergency efforts," Davis said. 

With the statewide stay-at-home order extended until May 8, the decision to keep schools closed is another effect of the pandemic's continued impact on North Carolina. 

Cooper said these changes do not reflect a new normal, but a strategic, crisis-driven reaction on the road to the state’s recovery from COVID-19. 

“Lots of things in North Carolina are not the same as they were two months ago,” Cooper said. “But we are the same people, strong and resilient.”

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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