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Guilford County Schools discusses possible re-entry plans

The Guilford County Board of Education will take a vote on a re-entry option at the September 24 meeting.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Guilford County School Board is talking through a re-entry plan to get kids back to the classroom. 

For students to come back, coronavirus data and key indicators, like the positivity rate, hospitalizations and Guilford County cases have to meet certain criteria, according to the district. 

At Tuesday night's virtual meeting Superintendent, Dr. Sharon Contreras presented her recommendation of a phased approach and a list of pros and cons for all scenarios.

"To make sure we give staff families the opportunity to become acclimated to very new protocols in our schools," said Contreras.

Here's what it could look like: 

Credit: Guilford County Schools

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If the plan passes, and all coronavirus data trends the right way, some students could be back in school by October 20. Under the proposed plan, that would include all of pre-K through 2nd grade, returning to the classroom full time. 

The sixth grade would also return on Oct. 20, but with only half of the grade Monday and Tuesday, and the other half Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays would be used to deep-clean the school.

A week later, on October 26, grades 3-5 would phase in full time. Seventh and 8th grade would also come back to school, but only half of the grade would come to the classroom Monday and Tuesday, and the other half Thursday and Friday.

The superintendent's recommendation doesn't have high school returning until January 20th.

Some board members expressed concerns about that.

"The high school students are starved for the social and emotional part of their high school education and we all know that is important," said District 2 board member Anita Sharpe.

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Contreras said she understands those concerns, but stands by her recommendation.

"The health department is supporting our recommendation especially since the virus seems to be more readily transmitted by older students," said Contreras, "As we see with what has happened with college students. So, we don't want to reopen with all of the students, and immediately we see students start transmitting the virus to other students or the adults in the schools, and then we have an outcry to close the entire system." 

Contreras said the district has room in all but three elementary schools to allow for social distancing. Contreras said other options to find more room under the governor's Plan B could involve moving some students to another school or renting more space.

The board will make a re-entry decision based on coronavirus data from October 2 to October 16. 

The board will vote on the option for re-entry at the meeting on September 24.

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