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'Students need to be in school' | Rockingham County schools prepares for student return

Rockingham County students are back in classrooms September 21. School officials discuss how they’re preparing for a safe year.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Rockingham County Schools is ready for students to return to the classroom.

Some in-person learning starts Monday, despite the county having one of the highest coronavirus rates in the Triad.

The latest Department of Health and Human Services data shows 8.5 percent of Rockingham County has tested positive. 

Superintendent doctor Rodney Shotwell said the district's worked with the local health department to develop their re-entry plan, and they're ready to open their doors.

RELATED: School districts announcing reopening plans | Here’s what we know

Central Elementary School Principal Jane Frazier said the high positive test rate doesn't concern her. 

“We know our numbers are higher right now, but we are prepared with our safety protocol and procedures,” Frazier said.  “Wearing masks, washing hands. We are prepared to teach students those things.”

Dr. Shotwell said they set the in person learning date for Sept. 21 back in July. 

COVID-19 signage going up around the district! Getting ready for September 21! #PlanB #RCSCares

Posted by Rockingham County Schools on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

“The overwhelming piece is that there are students who absolutely need to come to school,” Shotwell said. “There are students that have connectivity issues.”

Shotwell said this is why they're going ahead with Plan B.

That's alternating days with some in-person and some virtual learning with the same teacher.

Frazier said she's working with her teachers to make sure they're ready.

“We have trained on the safety protocol and procedures,” Frazier said. “We're going to follow our health screener. Take temperatures and make sure folks are wearing masks.”

If cases spike, the district has a plan that includes isolation rooms and possibly closing a school.

Almost a third of the districts students will stick with online learning only.