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Open Letter to Educators, Parents, and Caretakers from NC Superintendent of Public Instruction

Educators, Parents, and Caretakers –

These are challenging and frustrating times for everyone. There are a lot of different opinions on how to return to learning this month. About the only thing we can all agree on is that no one is going to be happy with how this school year is starting.

We get it. Distance learning doesn’t replace being in a classroom and is a struggle for parents, students, and teachers. At the same time, many educators and parents share concerns about the potential for the spread of COVID-19 at schools.

The tough decisions on how communities are returning to schools are being made by your local school leaders under the requirements set forth by Governor Cooper and his team. Every school faces unique challenges that reflect the uniqueness of each community, so different decisions will be made for different communities. Currently, two out of three of North Carolina’s students will start this school year with distance learning.

At your NC Department of Public Instruction, we have been supporting local schools and communities by providing multiple strategies on how schools can meet the COVID-19 requirements for in-person learning. We have worked closely with local districts to strengthen distance learning so that it is improved from what students, parents, and teachers faced at the end of last school year. It still will not be perfect, but it will be better and specifically should have more live interactions with teachers, even if over video chats. Please click here to visit our resource page for parents and teachers.

Please join us as we work to help encourage each other and our students. We can all agree that no one is happy that COVID-19 has created obstacles unlike any we have ever faced. We don’t have to agree on everything after that, but let’s work together, with grace and encouragement, to overcome the challenges ahead.

Sincerely,

Mark Johnson
NC Superintendent of Public Instruction
@MarkRJohnsonNC

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