Waiting

Students in high schools like Oxford’s J.F. Webb (shown) will have to wait a while longer, but the Granville County School System has decided that students in grades 5 and lower can attend in-person classes four days each week starting on March 29.

OXFORD — As of March 29, Granville County Public Schools students in classes from pre-K to 5 will be attending school in-person on four days of the school week.

During its meeting on Monday, the Granville school board voted 7-0 “to move one step closer to bringing all students back to in-person learning,” by allowing pre-K through grade 5 students to shift to Plan A, attending on campus Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday will remain a remote-learning day for those students, and students in grades 6 on up remain in Plan B, attending school in person two days per week.

“I sure hope that if you’ve been able to work out a schedule for the [pre-K-5 kids] going to school four days a week,” board Vice Chairman Thomas Houlihan said during the meeting before he and his colleagues voted. “For what it’s worth, I think we need to do that.”

He said he wanted to go on record saying he wants to see if they can have students going four days a week “because especially, our children and what’s going on, they need to be in school as much as possible.”

The motion directed staff to prepare for students in pre-K-5 to shift from in-person learning from two days a week to four days a week.

As of Monday, students in pre-K-5, like their grade 6-12 counterparts, who attend school in-person are assigned to two groups, with each physically reporting to school two days a week. One attends school on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other attends schools on Thursdays and Fridays.

Both groups attend school virtually for the other three days they’re not physically in school.

Even after March 29, families who previously chose to have their students remain on full virtual learning will do so for the remainder of the school year, according to the release.

Additionally, the school board unanimously approved raising the daily rate of pay for substitute teachers by 10% “in hopes of attracting more qualified candidates to the pool.”

The need for substitutes, officials said, varies by school with elementary schools “typically experiencing higher demand.” All schools currently need additional substitutes.

Superintendent Alisa McLean’s staff told the board that about a third of the district’s full-time staff has been affected by requirements to isolate to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

The new starting pay for substitute teachers is now $90 a day for those with minimal experience, and can run as high as $116 a day for those with teaching experience as well as credentials.

Interested candidates must finish an application, which can be found on the district website. Questions can be directed to Kathy Bradley, HR specialist at bradleyk@gcs.k12.nc.us.