RANDOLPH COUNTY — Five months after bringing elementary students back to a four-day weekly calendar, officials with the Randolph County School System have scheduled the return of its middle and high school students.
Randolph school board members voted unanimously this week to bring all of the county’s students into classrooms for every weekday but Wednesday, the system’s lone remote day, upon return from spring break April 6. Stephen Gainey, RCSS superintendent, recommended leaving elementary students on four days per week while moving grades 6-12 to the same schedule.
“My recommendation would be option two, to leave elementary like it is,” Gainey said. “It would turn around and give 6-12 the option to align with Pre-K-5. … The way I look at that, that is a tremendous next step toward five days a week in August 2021.”
Gainey made clear his intentions of returning to normalcy for the fall of this year. The superintendent’s priority remains finding a way to have children on campus for as close to the same as what school looked like prior to March 13.
The time is not now, however, according to Gainey and board members, to submit students and teachers to the full five-day schedule.
“I can tell you that five days wouldn’t be an option for any grade level,” board member Tracy Boyles said. “Our teachers want that virtual day. They need a virtual day. In my opinion, five days is not an option. It can’t be. We’ve got to be fair to our staff. There’s parents out there who want their elementary kids in school for five days.
“Come on. We do too. Let’s not be selfish.”
In October, the RCSS Board of Education voted 6-1 to bring all of the county’s youngest students back to classrooms for all weekdays but Wednesday, the system’s lone remote day. To continue its march toward a five-day-a-week schedule, the board moved to prepare for additional classroom instruction.
Parents have until Friday to notify the school system of any changes they wish to make to their child’s schedule.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.