This 2020 election brought change. We the people, elected candidates we believed would represent the people and more specifically, the students. Karen Carter, dedicated social worker and educator for Wake County beat out veteran school board member Bill Fletcher with a 54.4% victory. I had the honor and privilege to get in contact with Ms. Carter to see what great plans she has now that she’s on the school board! Introducing… Ms. Carter!
I know you’re a former student of Wake County (along with being a Meredith College alum) but you’re also a mother to Wake County students! I’ve seen you advocate to get rid of MVP math curriculum, negotiate to change not only the bell schedule for WCPSS students but also successfully prevent school reassignments for your neighborhood a multitude of times… What can we (students and parents of Wake County) expect from you now that you’re on the School Board?
“I will be sworn in as a board representative on December 1st. I’m eager to begin representing D9. I will work hard to be more inclusive of all students, families, staff, and community members. My intent is to expand the perspectives that are considered when decisions are undertaken to ensure that they are made in the best interest of our students and their education. Additionally, I will be starting a blog as an additional way to communicate with students, families, staff, and community members…so keep an eye out for that!”
Regarding schools reopening (specifically for high school students in the next semester), what will the culture of schools be like? (i.e.. how will school provided transportation operate, what will lunch look like for students, how many students will there be to a class due to capacity requirements, etc.)
“The school-provided transportation has been successfully operating for elementary and middle school following protocol, procedures and guidance given by WCPSS. Each school determines the specifics around how their lunch time will look to meet their specific needs. Some schools are eating in classrooms and others are eating in the cafeteria. According to information released on October 27th, Green Hope High School students will be eating lunch in their classrooms and no off campus lunch will be allowed. Please note that all students may eat free meals at their schools for the entire 2020-21 school year.”
“The number of students per class is limited due to the 6ft spacing requirement. Each school will work to ensure the numbers per classroom allow for the safety protocol to be followed.”
For schools currently hosting students on campus for in person 3-week rotations school, what are the health/safety protocols being followed from a safety standpoint? (In other words, are there specific District 9 rules or North Carolina rules being mandated?)
“WCPSS has protocols, procedures, and guidelines for all our schools based on Governor Cooper’s decisions and recommendations/requirements from NC DHHS, CDC, and the ABC Science Collaborative. There is a Return to Campus Guide for Families, which provides detailed information for students and their families.”
“The 3 Ws are an integral part of the safety protocols: Wear your mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash your hands.”
What is expected of teachers for on-campus instruction? (Mask-wearing, plastic shield classroom installation, etc.)?
“There is a Return to the Workplace Guide for Employees, which details the safety procedures, protocols, and expectations. Wearing a mask is expected unless staff has received a special accommodation. Schools provide school-specific information as well.”
For the spring 2020 semester, what constraints do you hope will be loosened?
“I look forward to high school students being able to return to in-person instruction and middle school athletics starting.”
As a mother of WCPSS District 9 students, how does this differentiate you from other board members and your most-recent opponent, Bill Fletcher, in terms of how you will set visions/standards for our district’s curriculum?
“As a mom of a current D9 student, I understand from a parent’s perspective how the curriculum directly impacts our students. As a Special Education IA for the past 9 school years, I also understand how curriculum decisions need to be more inclusive of all students and their needs.”
And finally, what are you most excited for with your new position?
“I’m excited to bring a new voice and perspective to this position. I’m delighted to move forward and form positive relationships with the other board members as we work together to make WCPSS the best choice for students in our county.”
I’m extremely thankful to have gotten in contact with Ms. Carter and look forward to what magnificent plans she has now on the board. To follow her and her journey as a school board representative check out her Karen4Wake Facebook page along with her website, Karen4Wake .