Prayer #321: For the Return to In-Person Learning at Wake County Public Schools
A week ago, the Wake County School Board voted 8-1 to reopen Wake County public schools for in-person learning. Starting February 15, students in pre-K through third grade will be able to attend school daily, while those in grades 4-12 will be in three-week rotations between in-person and virtual learning. Returning to in-person learning is optional. According to a recent survey of 33,000 parents of Wake County School System students from all 192 schools, 52% wanted their children to return to in-person learning; the remaining 48% wished their children to continue with virtual learning. There are presently a total of 161,650 students in the county's public schools. This same survey received input from about 10,000 staff members, 60% of which were teachers, 12% teaching assistants, 8% coaches, 6% counselors and social workers, 4% clerical, and 3% administrators. In this survey, staff members expressed concerns about theirs and the students' safety as schools reopen. Staff concerns for personal physical wellbeing were up 26% since this past spring, concern for their family members since that time were up 12%. There were also more concerns now from them that staff (up 59%) and students (up 81%) would not follow the COVID safety practices. 88% of the staff surveyed were concerned that there would not be enough healthy staff members when school reopened. The return to in-person learning comes at a time when there is considerable concern about how students are doing academically as well as emotionally during this long time of virtual learning. Since virtual learning began in Wake County back in the spring, there has been a significant increase in students that are failing. The percentage of F grades in middle school rose from 5-6% in the 2018-19 school year to 13-15% this fall; for high-schoolers, the percentage of F's rose from 7-11% two years ago to 15-17% this fall.
Pray now for the preparations for the reopening of the Wake County Public System for in-person learning on February 15. Pray as safety precautions are put in place for masking and social distancing. Pray that God would protect students, teachers, and staff from COVID-19 infection. And pray that the reopening of the public schools would be of great help to the students academically and emotionally.
Ps. 28:6: "Blessed be the LORD, for He has heard the voice of my supplications."