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Group of Buncombe County educators disagrees with board's plan to scrap planning day

Group of Buncombe County educators disagrees with board's plan to scrap planning day
The Buncombe County Association of Educators is speaking out after the school board decided last week to keep K-4 students on Plan B, but remove Wednesdays as a day to clean the classrooms and give teachers a chance to plan and tutor. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

The Buncombe County Association of Educators (BCAE) is speaking out after the school board made a decision last week with which they disagree.

Specifically, they are upset with the decision to keep students in K through 4 on Plan B, but remove Wednesdays as a day to clean the classrooms and give teachers a chance to plan and tutor.

BUNCOMBE COUNTY SCHOOLS BOARD VOTES TO STAY IN PLAN B AS COVID-19 CASES INCREASE

Third-grade teacher, and the president of BCAE, Paula Dinga, told News 13 that the decision to bring students back into the classroom on Wednesdays is irresponsible.

"If teachers don't have the time to plan and organize, give feedback, and tutor, all of those things happen on Wednesdays," Dinga said. "The other thing that is happening, too, is as of December 14, we're all coming back on a full-day schedule, which changes everyone's schedule now by an hour. Eliminating that hour and Wednesday eliminates almost all of the planning time that teachers desperately need to do their lessons well and to do it hybrid and remote."

News 13 reached out to the Buncombe County School board to hear why they decided to make these changes. They sent us this statement from Madam Chair, Ann Franklin:

This is a very difficult road that we've been on, and it's not getting any easier. We must take into consideration all of the available metrics and data to make the best decision we can at the time.
What we are trying to do is meet our obligation to provide an engaging and effective curriculum to our students while acknowledging the challenges facing our faculty and staff.
The plan that we voted on last Thursday is not set in stone, but it puts us on a path to a normal school schedule, which is what everyone wants and what we know is best for our students.

As for Dinga, she believes the school board is not considering the concerns of teachers and administrators.

WHY DON'T SCHOOLS TEST ALL STUDENTS AND STAFF FOR COVID-19?

"They even said in open session on Thursday night that principals resoundingly said, 'Do not take away Wednesday as an asynchronous day,'" Dinga said. "Our teachers need it. It is essential we cannot do without it. And at some point, that voice got lost in the conversation."

As of now - these changes will go into effect on February 1, 2021.

CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION CENTER: TRACK THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS, IMPACTS, AND HEADLINES ABOUT THE PANDEMIC HERE


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