Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell-Statesville Schools administrators and principals gathered at the Boys & Girls Club of the Piedmont on Monday with a parent focus group to discuss the reopening of district schools in

During the town hall meeting, approximately 40 parents and educators shared insights, brainstormed ideas, and learned more about the three plans that I-SS has been working on throughout the summer.

Associate Superintendent Alvera Lesane facilitated the discussion.

“Our mission tonight is to integrate all stakeholder voices in re-entry planning in an effort to close gaps and provide smooth transitions for the 2020-2021 school year,” Lesane said. “We are intentionally seeking the voices that may not be heard as often.”

Parents discussed communication, virtual learning, internet connectivity, access to technology,
transportation and meal logistics, and childcare.

“We are all going through the COVID-19 pandemic. It was great to see administration, educators and parents come together to discuss what the up and coming school year could look like,” said Regina Steele, a Statesville High School parent. “The future tends to be clearer when you see visions of hope. Last night was a great example of how much students matter and how much families matter. It was not a time to shift blame or pronounce who’s at fault, but to understand that we all must take responsibility for the educational success and wellbeing of our students.”

Executive Director of Secondary Education Kelly Cooper highlighted the plans that may be put in place in the coming days.

“It is clear that we may return to school in August on a modified schedule. We want to make sure that whatever plan we develop is the best possible scenario for our students and families.

“For those families who do not feel comfortable returning to campus in August, we want to be clear
that we have virtual learning options for all students in K-12. Many families are eager to get their
child back to a regular school routine, but there are also families that are concerned, and want a
virtual option.”

I-SS has offered virtual learning options for many years. Though those options haven’t been mainstream, the district is poised to offer virtual options to those who desire it.

The first day of school is scheduled for August 17. Gov. Roy Cooper could provide direction on in-person and remote learning as soon as Wednesday.


Virtual options can be reviewed at https://www.issnc.org/schools-programs/iacademy or

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