Education

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

Squad car that reads "Police, Moore County Schools."
Donald Lee Pardue/Flickr Creative Commons

School resource officers have long been a mainstay in North Carolina’s public schools. For some parents, students and administrators, the presence of school resource officers offers reassurance of heightened safety in the wake of school shootings and violence. For others, the constant presence of law enforcement inside hallways and classrooms creates a culture of fear and trauma, stemming from disproportionate arrest and conviction rates of black and brown students. 

StockSnap / Pixabay Creative Commons


Colleges and universities across North Carolina – and across the country – are developing plans and backup plans for how to conduct classes this fall during the coronavirus pandemic. All are weighing safety and health risks with financial realities, and the realities of college life. 

Cole del Charco / WUNC

High school graduations across the state have taken a different form due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as drive-throughs and virtual celebrations became the norm. Instead of walking across a stage, shaking hands and throwing caps into the air, the class of 2020 had to find new ways to celebrate.

East Carolina University wants to be known simply as ECU.
Wikimedia Commons

East Carolina University plans to place 110 workers on emergency temporary furloughs as a result of reduced revenues stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, the school announced Thursday.

Courtesy of Shayla Stewart

High school seniors are missing out on final milestones, performances and events that'd normally help mark the end of a signifcant chapter in their lives. For Shayla Stewart, a senior graduating from Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, missing prom is just one of the things she was looking forward to.

Two African-American students at St. Augustine's University interact in front of a laptop computer.
Courtesy of St. Augustine's University

 

Maria Lumpkin was drawn to St. Augustine's University years ago. She remembers driving into campus for the first time and seeing the historic stone chapel, quarried and built in 1895 by students who were just one generation free from slavery.

Kristy Dactyl

As colleges across the nation deliberate over whether to continue holding classes remotely in the fall, UNC system schools — including North Carolina A&T State University, NC State University, UNC-Greensboro, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — have already announced their tentative plans for campus reopening.

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Universities in the UNC System are beginning to release early plans for how they might reopen their campuses to students and faculty in the fall.

Courtesy of Trey Roberts

Over one million North Carolinians have student loan debt, and the average borrower owes about $25,000. Even under normal circumstances, education debt can be prohibitive. 

calculator with the word college
Jake Rustenhoven / Flickr Creative Commons

Josmell Pérez has a master's degree and has gone through the process of buying a home - more than once - but he says it's still hard to wrap his head around student loans.

'The mortgage system, credit cards, other parts of finance make a whole lot more sense," Pérez said.

Christopher Holliday

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.

UNC-Chapel Hill graduating senior Amy Martin wears a homemade Carolina facemask during her graduation photoshoot in Coker Arboretum last week.
Jared Weber / For WUNC

Void of all context, the scene at UNC-Chapel Hill's Old Well this week was indistinguishable from years past. The monument glowed with sunshine, providing a classic Carolina backdrop for graduation photoshoots. One by one, students posed for snapshots - photo evidence that they graduated during this most unusual semester.

Virginia Hardy, East Carolina University vice chancellor of student affairs.
ECU

East Carolina University celebrated graduation online Friday morning. It's one of a number of modified college graduation ceremonies taking place in the state this weekend.

UNC Chapel Hill Counseling and Psychological Services staff. Doctor Allen O'Barr is kneeling farthest to the left in white shirt and beard.
UNC Counseling and Psychological Services

Some universities are expanding their mental health services to reach students remotely.

Doctor Allen O'Barr is director of UNC Chapel Hill's Counseling and Psychological Services. He's been seeing students through confidential online conferences. That allows the office to maintain on-going services and help students cope with new stress or grief related to the coronavirus pandemic.

When this year’s seniors started their final year of high school, they could not have imagined that their spring would involve canceled proms, drive-thru cap and gown pickups and postponed graduation ceremonies.

Ethan Guentensberger

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.

Carter-Finley Stadium, where the North Carolina State University Wolfpack play home football games.
N.C. State Athletics

Eight of the 14 football-playing members of the Atlantic Coast Conference are making plans for reopening campuses this fall while four others have publicly said they are exploring scenarios for a return following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Student, Classroom, school, class
Tom Woodward / Flickr Creative Commons

The pair of COVID-19 recovery bills passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper provide broad relief and numerous funding streams dedicated to K-12 public school students.

Those individual line items - paid for with federal aid - cover a cornucopia of students' needs.

"Today's bills provide for feeding schoolchildren, summer learning programs to help them catch up and funding to purchase computers for students who need them," Cooper said at a press conference.

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.

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