Education

This section collects Education stories from WUNC News & other sources.

A water fountain inside a hallway at a school at Chapel Hill Carrboro Public Schools.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The COVID-19 relief package the governor has now signed into law includes hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid for North Carolina's K-12 public schools. Those dollars will help schools continue to feed students and reach them through remote instruction.

Courtesy of Justin Catanoso

When in-person classes were cancelled for the semester at Wake Forest University, Professor Justin Catanoso knew he would have to break some of his own rules. 

Sharon Gaber has been named the fifth chancellor of UNC Charlotte.
UNC Charlotte

Sharon Gaber has been named chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She becomes the university's fifth chancellor after the UNC System Board of Governors approved the hire at a Tuesday special meeting.

Courtesy Brooke Cox

The pandemic has had an especially harsh impact on high school seniors in North Carolina. They've missed events they can't get back, like final performances, sports seasons, proms and graduations. Still, many have shown resilience and hopefulness.

WUNC reporter Cole del Charco has been collecting some of their stories, and will share them on a regular basis over the next few weeks. The first perspective comes from senior Brooke Cox from South Point High School in Belmont.

A hallway with a row of red lockers at a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

North Carolina's public school buildings, already shuttered for the past month due to COVID-19, won't reopen this school year, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday.

The decision was largely expected. Cooper originally closed K-12 schools in all 115 districts in mid-March for two weeks, then extended his executive order through May 15.

Child at computer.
Kevin Jarrett / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/igWhB9

As North Carolina education officials plan for how to spend the millions of dollars they expect to receive in state and federal aid, two related needs are rising to the top: computers and internet connection.

Federal Aid On Its Way

North Carolina public schools are expected to receive $390 million in federal aid allocated in the CARES Act to help cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Courtesy of Ty Meyer

For students and educators around the state, this year’s learning is in a state of flux. Public schools are holding out hope that they will reopen their doors before the school year ends. 

Photo: The state Department of Public Instruction revealed a dramatic drops in student performance on standardized tests.
sandersonhs.org

With K-12 schools operating remotely because of COVID-19, the state has taken the extraordinary step of easing grading and testing requirements. Here’s what that means for public school students.

Student sits at table doing homework on laptop with hand on forehead, looking frustrated.
Courtesy of Ty Meyer

 


College sophomore Ty Meyer has been spending lots of time in parking lots lately, mostly at McDonald's or his local library. It's often his best option for accessing wifi to turn in homework. One of his NC State University classes requires him to upload video assignments. 

Helen Pettiford

In the Pettiford family, everyone goes to school every day. Or at least they used to. The parents, Helen and Joseph, are both teachers. And their five-year-old daughter Lyla, is in preschool.

Courtesy of UNC System

The University of North Carolina System is tightening its belt in anticipated billions of lost state tax revenue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Carrington Middle School teacher and coach Terry McMillan passes a bag filled with multiple school lunches to a family at Lakewood Montessori Middle School in Durham, Monday, April 6.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Public schools across North Carolina have given meals to thousands of students since in-person classes ended for many three weeks ago, but this week's school meals will be the last in Durham.

Student practices wheel throwing in an East Carolina University ceramics class.
Courtesy of East Carolina University

Teachers and college professors have been given a huge challenge this month -- how to quickly adapt their classes for long-distance learning. North Carolina teachers are getting creative to engage their students.

UNC senior Samara Bie works on job applications from her Chapel Hill apartment. Bie, an international student from China, must secure a job within 60 days of graduating in May in order to extend her F-1 visa.
Courtesy of Samara Bie

Like many graduating college students across the United States, UNC-Chapel Hill senior Samara Bie experienced her last moments on campus without even knowing it.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

 

Vanessa Barnes has helped students navigate college admissions as a high school guidance counselor for 20 years. She knows all the ins and outs of applications, but her goal is simple.

“My passion is I want kids to be able to go to school,” Barnes said.

Barnes is a member of the North Carolina School Counselor Association, and has worked in both urban and rural schools. She says especially for less advantaged students, college can make all the difference.

ThinkStock

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is having broad financial consequences, and college students are not immune to the effects.

children reading
U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

Advocacy groups that lobby for the well-being of young children have written a letter to Governor Roy Cooper and N.C. Health and Human Services Director Mandy Cohen urging them to close all child care facilities.

Leaders of N.C. Early Education Coalition, NC Child, and N.C. Association for the Education of Young Children say that forcing employees of day-care facilities to work puts the health of kids, their families, and the workers themselves at risk.

The Statue of Minerva on the campus of UNC Greensboro
Courtesy of UNC Greensboro

While colleges and universities across North Carolina move classes online, administrators are also dealing with the complications that come with reducing on-campus operations.

WCPSS

North Carolina public school buildings are now closed until at least May 15, but educators are still working to teach students remotely. 

Wake County Public Schools is one of a number of districts across the state providing a website with online resources to give parents and students some guidance on how to maintain learning during this unprecedented time away from the classroom. You can find the website here

A picture of UNC grad turning their graduation tassle
UNC-Chapel Hill

College seniors across the University of North Carolina System's 16 universities should expect their spring graduation ceremonies to be delayed, UNC System Interim President Bill Roper announced Friday.

"I know and understand that this will disappoint our students and their families who have worked so hard toward this goal for so many years," Roper said. "But the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff must be our top priority."

Stanly County Public Schools teacher Kristen Herlocker hands a bag lunch to a student at his bus stop.
Kristen Herlocker

Imagine a nine year old kid, stuck at home, who typically eats both breakfast and lunch at school. So what happens if his parents are struggling more than ever, and schools close to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Amia Byrd, 7, looks at the book Rapunzel in the children's section at the Richard B. Harrison Community Library on July 9, 2018.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

Families across North Carolina are adjusting to a new way of life — and of learning. 

Laptop computer
Ian Usher / Flickr

University professors across North Carolina are preparing to transition to online classes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

 

Governor Roy Cooper has issued an executive order requiring all K-12 public schools across North Carolina to close for at least two weeks, beginning Monday, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

How the spread of coronavirus, and the mitigation efforts to control it, are impacting some schools in North Carolina.

School Districts

Durham Public Schools will close starting on Monday as a measure to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

UNC Greensboro education student Shelby Morris reads "Freedom On The Menu" to a Girl Scout troop visiting the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

On a recent Saturday, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum at the old Woolworth's in Greensboro was buzzing with visitors. This year, the museum is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the lunch counter sit-ins there that ignited a movement. 

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

The rate of crime in schools has gone down for the third year in a row. Education leaders on the State Board of Education discussed the findings in their monthly meeting in Raleigh on Thursday.

Both the number of reportable crimes and the rate of crime on school campuses decreased in the 2018-19 year. The rate of crime decreased nine percent between 2018 and 2019.

It’s also the first year no school in North Carolina used corporal punishment, after the final two districts using it banned the practice after the 2017-18 school year.

UNC Chapel Hill law student Maya Weinstein is among the students advocating for the University to boost its investment in sexual assault prevention.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

About three thousand undergraduate women start their college careers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill each fall. By the time they graduate, nearly half are likely to experience sexual assault or misconduct. A quarter are likely to experience assaults that meet the definition of rape -- and that’s only the women.

 

Police stand guard after the confederate statue known as Silent Sam was toppled by protesters on campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.
Gerry Broome / AP

The UNC System Board of Governors is not making any immediate decisions on what to do with the Silent Sam monument, now that it is awaiting the statue's return.

UNC System Interim President Bill Roper said he will seek a "lasting, legal solution" for the future of the statue torn down by protesters, but that it will not return to its former location at UNC Chapel Hill.

"It will not go back on campus," Roper told reporters Friday.

The pedestal of the Silent Sam statue without the Confederate monument on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

A judge imposed a 45-day deadline on the Sons of Confederate Veterans to return the Silent Sam statue to the University of North Carolina.

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