North Carolina schools resume with most students online

In this March 6, 2020, photo, a classroom is seen vacant through a window at Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, R.I., as the school remains closed following a confirmed case of the coronavirus. As a growing number of schools around the country close their doors because of the new coronavirus, they are confronted with the dilemma of whether to move classes online and run the risk of leaving behind the many students who don't have internet or computers at home, or parents with flexible work schedule. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s public schools are returning to class, but most students are still having to learn at home through their computers to start the year. 

Nearly every school in all K-12 districts begin classes Monday. Under Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan, school boards could start the year with full remote learning, hold in-person instruction with strict social distancing or provide a mix.

Districts and charter schools that teach about two-thirds of the 1.5 million public school students chose the full-remote option for now, according to data from the Department of Public Instruction.

The N.C. Association of Educators organized opposition to return to in-person instruction, against guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Schools were closed in March amid the pandemic and never reopened this past year.

School districts are expanding their online instruction. More than half of Wake County’s school enrollment signed up for the district’s “virtual academy.” However, the State Board of Education declined last week to increase enrollment for two virtual charter schools.