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Iredell-Statesville Schools Offers Optional Teacher Workday Ahead Of Protests

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Iredell-Statesville Schools is joining CMS and other school districts in the decision to make May 16 an optional teacher workday, the district said in a statement. Schools are closing in anticipation for teacher protests that will occur in Raleigh the same day.

Superintendent Brady Johnson said the school board made the decision out of concern for student safety.

“This decision was made since we cannot guarantee that we will have the necessary staff to maintain an uninterrupted day for curriculum and safely transport our students to and from school,” Johnson said.

Standardized testing, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests, will go on as scheduled. Johnson said the district’s “central support personnel” will step in and fill the gaps in testing created by teacher absences.

More than 2,000 CMS teachers requested the day off for personal reasons, Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said Friday. Teachers will be rallying in Raleigh to call for increases in teacher pay and more investment in public education, among other issues.

Schools in Durham, Orange, Wake, Nash-Rocky Mount and Chapel Hill-Carborro are also closing for the day to allow teachers to protest.

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Jessa O’Connor was an assistant digital news editor and Sunday reporter for WFAE. She joined the team in 2018 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a degree in broadcast journalism and worked for her college radio news station. Jessa won national awards for her college news coverage, including “First Place in Radio” from the Hearst Journalism Awards Program and “Best Radio News Reporting” from the Society of Professional Journalists.