RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — The Randolph County School System is one of a handful of schools in the Piedmont Triad starting the school year with a mix of in-person and remote learning.
In a video published by the school system earlier this week, Superintendent Dr. Stephen Gainey talked about the precautions the district will have in place on school campuses.
Gainey said anyone on a school campus will be required to wear a cloth face covering. Students will also have their temperature taken when they arrive at school.
Gainey said if children have a 100.4 temperature or higher, parents should keep them home, or they will be called to come and pick their child up from school.
While some parents have decided to keep their children home in Randolph County, others are comfortable with the plan the school district has.
Emily Hinesley said she's glad the school system is taking extra steps to ensure students' safety.
"There’s not a perfect right answer. None of us really know what tomorrow holds when it comes to this and what changes will be made so you have to make the best decision for your child and go with that and be comfortable with that and I feel very comfortable," said Hinesley.
Her 8-year-old son Lincoln is going into third grade at Farmer Elementary School.
"I want Lincoln to go back to school I think he is ready to interact with his teachers and friends," she said.
Gainey said parents should become familiar with the checklist students will be given at the start of each day.
Hinesley said she's been practicing asking her son Lincoln those questions so he knows what things like "chills" and "shortness of breath" are and can answer them.
"With COVID he’s going to have to rely on us to tell him, 'You have not been around anyone with COVID,' which he hasn’t, but as an 8-year-old you don’t know that so we’ve been trying to practice those so you know Lincoln is prepared and knows how to answer those questions," she said.
Hinesley is grateful that she's working from home so she can be there for her son as much as possible when he's in the rotation for remote learning.
"I am worried about how are we going to juggle it how are we going to do the virtual learning with me working a full-time schedule," she said.
Sadly, Hinesley knows this school year will be vastly different from the rest.
"When you think about those elementary school days, the fun days, to think about him having to social distance and not being able to go to the cafeteria and having to wear a mask, stuff like that, it hurts my momma heart a little bit but I also understand why those procedures are in place," she said.
Gary Cook, the chairman of the Randolph County Board of Education, said staff have been preparing all week for the start of school.
"Our staff has amazed me how much they have accomplished this week. We will start school on Monday with kids in the classroom, do the best we can and get better each day," Cook said, "The best thing is our staff will get reacquainted with the kids and that's most important. Our people have really stepped up to the plate."