The North Carolina Parent Teacher Association (NCPTA) is hosting two “Virtual Town Halls” this week to allow parents, students, educators and health professionals to come together and discuss the state’s current plans for opening schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, July 22, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on Thursday, July 23, also from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., the town hall meetings will offer a forum where families, educators and others can get updates on school reopening plans.

The events will also offer information about COVID-19 provided by health care professionals.

During the town halls, there will be a question and answer session.

At the first town hall, Spanish and sign language interpreters will be provided. At the second one, a sign language interpreter will be viewable but there won’t be a Spanish interpreter.

Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, an associate professor with the Duke University Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, stated in a Tuesday, July 21 press release announcing the large online discussion, that it’s important for everyone to do what they can to stay informed in these trying times.

“Living through the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult and quite stressful,” she stated. “Our parents and families must be well-informed and deserve to get their questions answered at this week’s Town Halls with the NCPTA.”

The panels will consist of education and health professionals.

The discussion will address safety precautions needed for successful and relatively safe school reopenings at a time when some parents and others have been arguing that schools shouldn’t open at all – at least not the physical school buildings.

North Carolina’s PTA encompasses over 920 Parent Teacher Associations in schools across the state with more than 106,000 members.

The group’s mission is to provide advocacy, volunteers, and resources to schools in North Carolina.