Surry County Schools and Mount Airy City Schools are not planning to be among the North Carolina school systems that will be closing on Wednesday, when large numbers of teachers will be in Raleigh lobbying for better pay and working conditions.
Thousands of teachers are expected to be at the state capitol that day for the “March for Students and Rally for Respect.” The teachers are visiting legislators on the first day of the 2018 session to ask for better pay and working conditions, according to AP reports.
As of Thursday afternoon, 19 North Carolina school districts, representing 666,000 students (44 percent of the state’s public school students) have said they will be closed Wednesday, according to the Greensboro News & Record. Schools are making plans to accommodate students with exams May 16 as well as getting meals for low-income students.
The state’s four largest school systems are among those closing: Wake County in Raleigh, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Guilford County in Greensboro and Winston-Salem/Forsyth.
Sonia Dickerson, director of communications, instructional media, and teacher quality for Surry County Schools, said no one has requested the day off in her school system. “We will be on a regular schedule.”
Dickerson added that requests for personal leave must be made five working days in advance. As there are less than five working days before the planned rally, no disruption is expected.
Mount Airy City Schools public information officer Carrie Venable did not respond directly to questions regarding whether teachers had requested that day off, and if so, how many. Instead, she submitted a written statement to The Mount Airy News.
“Mount Airy City Schools is working with our principals to ensure classroom instruction and necessary student support services are provided to our students without interruption,” the statement read.
“Our primary focus continues to be on delivering quality education to every child, every day and ensuring they are in a safe and conducive learning environment. This work continues even in the event one or more of our teachers are absent. If we have credible information that indicates a large part of the teaching force will not be present, we may have to make a decision regarding student safety and supervision that requires us to close.”
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.