WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Summer vacation is officially over for many families in the region as many students returned to the classroom this week.
Monday marked a fresh start for students across the Cape Fear region, and the beginning of a year where students and teachers didn’t have to meet each morning on their computer screens.
These are moments 18 months in the making; between a late return to the classroom and so many families keeping their child learning virtually, its been a very long time since everyone came to school.
“Students are excited. There’s a level of excitement, of one, seeing your friends, being back face-to-face … all students,” said district superintendent Dr. Charles Foust. “Last year, where there was a third that were coming, a third coming on certain days, and some that stayed at home.”
The first day at Roland Grice Middle School kicked off with the principal opening doors in the packed carpool line – and giving students a warm welcome.
Everyone already had their masks on when they walked in the door, per the district’s universal mask mandate. It’s one of several COVID-19 protections in place, from mandatory distancing, extra cleaning to keeping students in cohorts.
It’s all very similar to last year’s return to the classroom, except parents won’t see measures like temperature checks this school year or those plexiglass partitions because they’re no longer recommended by the CDC.
“I’m a parent and a teacher, so I think for me, the priority is the kids are back in class. They need to be here. We need to do it in a safe manner though, so, right now we’re off to a good start,” said 8th grade teacher Sasha Wooddell.
Monday morning several district staff also sent their own kids off to school, including Dr. Foust, who is confident the COVID-19 measures will keep students and staff safe.
“I’m going to treat your child just like it’s my child, I have that same compassion. So just knowing that the expectation is the same across all the schools,” said superintendent Dr. Foust. “When I walk into the building and I walk classes, I’m gonna be expecting the same thing as a Parent superintendent.”
District leaders encourage parents with any questions about the COVID-19 protocols or procedures to reach directly out to their child’s teachers or school.
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