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The Iredell-Statesville Board of Education meets in an emergency session Thursday.

At an emergency meeting Thursday, a divided Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education reversed course and voted to cancel classes May 1, when many of the district’s teachers plan to attend a rally in Raleigh.

In a 4-3 vote, the board elected to make May 1 a “virtual student day,” allowing them to be counted present if they complete their assignments in three days. It will be an optional workday for teachers. ISS said Thursday that 252 teachers have asked for the day off.

The decision comes two days after the ISS board issued a strongly worded statement declaring that students would be required to attend classes May 1, and that teachers would be granted the day off “provided that adequate coverage is available for their classrooms.”

But ISS Superintendent Brady Johnson told the board Thursday that there wouldn’t be adequate coverage.

“Due to the number of unfilled substitute positions for May 1, as well as a deficit of approximately 70 bus drivers for May 1, I have advised the board that holding school on May 1 may be unsafe,” he said in a statement. “Since this is the first time that we will implement a virtual day, we will look for feedback from our students, families and teachers. We are hopeful that virtual days will also be a good option when we have inclement weather in the winter months.”


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