More students return to GCS classrooms

·2 min read

Feb. 23—GUILFORD COUNTY — Public education made another advance to some semblance of normalcy Monday as sixth- and ninth-grade students returned to in-person classroom instruction for the first time since the local onset of the coronavirus pandemic 11 months ago.

Guilford County Schools will phase in middle and high school students in the coming weeks. Kindergarten and elementary school students already were brought back previously.

Students in grades seven, 10 and 12 will return the week of March 1. Students in grades eight and 11 will return the week of March 8.

Parents who want their children to continue learning remotely retain that option.

Middle and high school students will go to class in a pair of groups two days a week — one group will take in-person instruction Mondays and Tuesdays and the other Thursdays and Fridays, with Wednesday set aside for deep cleaning of schools. During the three days when students aren't in class, they will learn remotely.

The goal of the Guilford County Board of Education and school district leadership centers on having all students learn in a classroom setting through the end of the 2020-21 academic year later this spring.

With the return of middle and high school students, the school district wants to streamline health screenings at schools. Guilford County Schools set up an online platform that took effect Monday.

The new platform allows parents or guardians to certify that students are healthy by answering screening questions using any computer or mobile device prior to boarding a school bus or arriving at school.

Each morning, the primary parent and student will receive an email from CrisisGo with a link to the health-screening questions. Separate emails will be sent for each student in the household.

Once the questions are completed and submitted through a digital link, the family member will receive a green entry code notification. The family member will then show the code to the school bus driver before boarding or to an educator upon arrival at school. Staff will take student temperatures upon their arrival at school.

"Our goal is to streamline the screening process as much as we can while still ensuring we are following all health protocols," GCS Superintendent Sharon Contreras said. "Using technology should help speed up the process for everyone, especially at our secondary schools, which serve larger groups of students." — 336-888-3528 — @HPEpaul — 336-888-3528 — @HPEpaul