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"Our Phone is ringing off the hook"| Private schools prepare for in-person teaching

Private school administrators are giving daily tours as families look to private schools to teach students on campus.

BURLINGTON, N.C. — As most school districts across the state are gearing up for remote learning to begin the school year private schools are preparing for the opposite. A majority of private schools will begin the year with in-person learning.

“They’re (kids) excited to come back to school, I think all children are excited to come back to school,” Blessed Sacrament Principal Gloria Gomez said.

The private Burlington school is one of many in Alamance, Guilford and Forsyth County that plan to start the year in the classroom. Blessed Sacrament will offer remote learning for those kids and families that don’t feel safe coming to school.

“I need our students to feel safe and comfortable because if they are in the classroom nervous, they’re not going to be learning,” Gomez said.

The school has 203 students registered for the upcoming school year and all but 14 will be taking classes at the school.

“We are extremely happy and very glad that our kids get to take the next step back to a normal life again,” Holly Groh said.

The mother of three kids that will all be going to Blessed Sacrament Groh has no reservations about sending the kids to school.

“We have complete trust in the staff and our teachers,” Groh said.

Gomez recently met with teachers to get some feedback and what they thought of the plan to return to the classroom. She said only two of the teachers raised a concern.

Across town, at Bradford Academy, the school is already setting up socially distanced classrooms. The school has also purchased air purifiers for every class and clear plastic dividers that will sit on desks to minimize the spread of virus droplets.

“With a few tweaks and a few other things, I think we’ve been able to put together a good plan,” Headmaster Jeff Johnston said.

The school is only offering in-person learning and while Johnston said the school may lose a few kids who would prefer to learn online the number of kids wanting to enroll is much larger.

“The phone has been ringing off the hook, we have been doing tours all day,” Johnston said.

All the teachers at Bradford Academy are on board with the in-person learning according to Johnston. The school has also ordered plastic desks that can be easily brought outside to improve social distancing when learning.

There is also a plan in place to use picnic tables in the outdoor pavilion area on nice days. The classes will be separated with dividers to keep kids from one class away from kids from another class. Each class will also have its own equipment for recess and outdoor activities.

Schools will follow CDC guidelines if a student or teacher were to become infected.

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