Every school day is an opportunity to inspire and empower our students. We lost that opportunity on May 1, 2019. While I support our staff advocating for additional resources for public education in North Carolina, I do not believe it should be done in a manner that disrupts our core responsibility -- to prepare students for their future success.
I announced at our Board of Education meeting on Monday night that we were in a position to operate effectively on Wednesday, May 1. In fact, as of Tuesday morning, we had 165 classroom teacher leave requests, a number of absences lower than what we have experienced on other days in the current school year.
However, also on Tuesday morning, we began to learn of a mounting number of bus driver absences for May 1. By the end of the day, we realized that we would not be able to cover all of our bus routes, even after seeking out others in the school system who have appropriate licenses and training. We also realized that we were not in a position to determine when or if students would be picked up at their bus stops on Wednesday morning -- a significant concern for the safety of our students. As such, I made the decision to close.
We should have been in school on May 1, inspiring and empowering our students for their future success.