When State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced the members of the NC Schools Reopening Task Force last month he forgot to include within its membership some vital perspectives and voices.
Namely teachers and classified employees who work in public schools.
And now the lack of a semblance of a state plan to reopen schools safely almost begs that each school system put together its own plans.
There are 117 LEAs in NC. Add to that, the needs of elementary schools may differ from middle schools and high schools as far as reopening is concerned. There may have to be multiple plans for each school system from the smallest of counties that have only a few schools to the biggest districts with over 100 schools.
And each plan that is crafted, revised, and implemented needs to have the voices and input from those who are on the front lines and have the clearest perspectives of what happens in schools on a daily basis: certified and classified staff.
Not just teachers, but also
- Teacher Assistants
- Testing Coordinators
- Administrative Assistants
- Guidance Counselors
- Media Assistants
- Therapists – speech, occupational, physical
- Data Control and Clerks
- Bus Drivers and Transportation
- Food Services
- Crossing Guards
Without input from those who know schools best, any reopening plan will be just another example of people who may not know what they are really dealing with issuing ill-conceived mandates that may do more damage than good.