Sunday afternoon, Wayne County School officials announced they would be closing on Wednesday, May 1st, the day a teacher rally is scheduled at the General Assembly.
Due to the high number of teacher and staff absences, Wayne County Public Schools said Wednesday, May 1st will be a teacher workday for staff. Schools will be closed that day for students.
The district administration said they have spent the past several days closely monitoring leave requests in advance of the teacher rally planned in Raleigh.
“We have had absence requests made by teachers, instructional assistants, cafeteria workers, and other important support staff,” said Wayne County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Dunsmore. “Because we lack the number of substitute teachers and support staff needed to provide coverage, these absences will hinder our ability to deliver education services, provide adequate supervision, and ultimately ensure student safety.”
On April 19th, Johnston County school leaders announced they would also be closed on May 1st in support of teachers and the scheduled rally.
“Without the presence of essential staff members, normal operations will be disrupted and create possible issues regarding the order of our school day,” said Dr. Ross Renfrow, Superintendent of Johnston County Public Schools said on April 19th.
Board of Education Chairman Mike Wooten added, “We fully support our superintendent’s decision. The Board of Education understands the burden this decision puts on families; however, safety and security is paramount. The Johnston County Board of Education supports its teachers, knowing that the work they perform is lasting and cannot afford to be unnoticed. For the record, the JCPS Board of Education is committed to its teachers, respects the work that builds and strengthens our future, and will continue to support that which advances teaching and learning in Johnston County, this state, nation, and world. Our teachers’ voice is important and valuable to us. We also appreciate those who provide the support services necessary to ensure academic achievement. We rely heavily upon our teacher assistants, bus drivers, custodians, school nutrition, and clerical staff to serve our students.”
In the coming days, Johnston County Public Schools will provide notification to students and parents of any rescheduled testing, special events, field trips, and any other activities planned for May 1.