Iredell-Statesville Schools Superintendent Brady Johnson will meet with other superintendents in the region today to determine the best path forward to address the coronavirus outbreak, said Boen Nutting, I-SS director of communications and development.
Mooresville Graded School District Superintendent Stephen Mauney will also be attending the meeting. According to the MGSD, Mauney "will be sharing and learning information regarding plans and practices for schools. We will follow up with more concrete information sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening regarding our plan for returning to school on Monday."
Nutting said that the superintendents want to make the decision collectively to determine what is best for the region.
“We want to practice our civic duty of preventing spread,” Nutting said. “We do not want to contribute to this.”
Gov. Roy Cooper announced at a press conference Thursday that the state is not recommending any preemptive school closures at this time, though he did say that some closures may be necessary for some specific situations.
Nutting said that I-SS is considering all options to combat the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, including the replacement of in-person classes with virtual classes.
“We are not going to wait for the state to recommend a school closure,” Nutting said. “We will make a decision based on the needs of the community and Iredell-Statesville Schools.”
Nutting said that I-SS sees the suspension of out-of-county travel announced Wednesday as a first step to address the virus.
“Everything is on the table for this,” Nutting said.
Nutting said that I-SS is reevaluating the situation on a regular basis. Additional actions to address the virus will be determined at the superintendent meeting.
If a COVID-19 case arises in Iredell County, Nutting said that would be a game changer for I-SS.
One of the actions that I-SS could take is replacing in-person classes with virtual classes, Nutting said.
She said teachers are currently preparing for the possibility of virtual classes.
Nutting said that I-SS implemented virtual classes for one day last school year due to snow but that it would be completely different this time as the COVID-19 pandemic would require virtual classes for several weeks.
If the school system implements virtual classes for the foreseeable future, Nutting said that I-SS will have to determine how to meet the needs of students on child nutrition programs that depend on free or reduced-cost school lunches.
She also said that I-SS would have to determine how to teach students whose households do not have an internet connection and how to teach kindergarten through fifth-grade students who don’t have school-issued laptops.