Some parents in the triad push for virtual school options as COVID cases rise

GUILFORD COUNTY, North Carolina (WGHP) – Several parents in Guilford County say they have requested virtual academy options months after the original deadline as COVID-19 cases increase in the state.

A spokesperson for Guilford County Schools said the deadline passed in March. Parents say that at the time they felt more comfortable with in-person learning as cases started to decline.

Meredith Smith has a fifth grade student at Morehead Elementary. She dropped it off on her first day Monday, but has reservations.

“Nervous, very nervous,” she said. “It’s scary, we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Meredith’s daughter, Lilly, is too young to be vaccinated. The Greensboro mother saw the number of cases increase over the summer and began to doubt her decision in mid-July.

“We started to think it over, things weren’t going well, and it just got worse,” Smith said.

Another parent told FOX8 he contacted the district in hopes of gaining some sort of consideration for his student with special needs, who is having difficulty wearing a mask.

A spokesperson for Guilford County Schools said the March deadline was based on teachers’ allowances.

“It’s definitely a lot of frustration, I feel like there are enough parents who would choose the virtual option,” Smith said. “I have the impression that there would be enough parents to do one course per year that would remain virtual. “

The district has a mask requirement for staff and students, but Smith doesn’t hope this will prevent outbreaks.

“My feeling is that there will be cases in her classroom that they will have to quarantine, and I’m not sure if I will fire her when that happens. We will wait and see when that happens, ”she said.

Schools in Winston-Salem / Forsyth County are considering transfers to a virtual academy on a case-by-case basis, but space is limited.

The Surry County Online Magnetic School has reopened applications for the first 10 days of school.

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Perry A. Thomasson