Students at school system Pence called ‘forefront’ of reopening now in quarantine
Fourth graders at a school that is part of a system that Vice President Pence visited and lauded for returning to in-person teaching have been asked to quarantine after a student tested positive for COVID-19.
Thales Academy in Wake Forest, N.C., became aware of the positive test on Monday, ABC News reported.
The fourth grader, who was last at the school Friday, was reportedly infected at home by a family member, but was asymptomatic. All of the teachers and students who were exposed must now quarantine for 14 days.
Thales Academy is not a standalone school, but in fact a system of eight private, non-sectarian community schools across the Tar Heel State.
Last week, Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited the Thales Academy in Apex, N.C.
“We’re here today because to open up America, we’ve got to open up America’s schools and Thales Academy is literally in the forefront,” Pence reportedly said. “We really do believe that it’s in the best interest of our children to be back in the classroom.”
Thank you to Mrs. Combs’ 4th Grade Class! We are so proud and happy to see you all back in school! @Thales_Academy has taken careful steps to keep everyone healthy and we are grateful for the countless hours put in to open the academy and get kids back in the classroom! pic.twitter.com/KgtuHLDPt2
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) July 29, 2020
Thales Academy reopened its doors for students on July 20 and according to ABC’s Durham affiliate, students either have the option to learn fully online or fully in-person. Since the network of schools is private, it is not beholden to the reopening guidelines set forth by Gov. Roy Cooper (D).
For public school districts that choose to reopen in the fall, Cooper said that classroom and school bus capacity must be capped at 50 and 33 percent, respectively.
The Trump administration has taken an aggressive stance on reopening schools. Notably, President Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from school districts that don’t comply.
However, most of the country’s largest school districts, including Chicago Public Schools and Fairfax (Va.) County Public Schools, have decided to begin the school year completely online amid the coronavirus pandemic.