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Back-to-school: Some Triad students start school

Nine weeks of remote learning kicked off Wednesday for students in Guilford County's "non-traditional" schools

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It's officially back to school for some students in the Triad. Today was the first day for students at non-traditional schools in Guilford County.

They haven't started actual classes yet, but many of them stopped by their schools to pick up learning materials.

Among the students who resumed school Wednesday are students who attend the GCS Early College at Guilford, Greensboro College Middle College and the Middle College at UNCG.

Students and their parents, stopped by to pick up class schedules, supply lists and a fully fitted laptop provided by the school district.

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Wednesday marks the start of a school term that will initially begin with nine weeks of remote learning. It's not yet clear what the rest of the semester will look like as health officials continue to grapple with coronavirus outbreaks.

"It's kind of, with this whole coronavirus going on, it's completely different," said Kelby Swindel, a  junior at the Middle College at UNCG. "It's going to be a new, different experience. Hopefully, I'll get used to it."

"It went pretty smooth. It wasn't like too many people, it wasn't a hassle, it was pretty easy," said freshman Aaron Clyburn Jr. "I feel like the curriculum is not going to be hard, or it's going to be hard to make friends or anything like that so, I feel pretty good about it." 

Over the rest of the week, hundreds of students enrolled at non-traditional schools in Guilford County will file into school buildings. They are getting registered on their laptops and getting internet access devices.

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"Our school district is making sure that all students have access to connectivity. So, we have gone the extra mile to make sure that there are places for students to connect," said Keisha Brown, principal at Middle College at UNCG. "We are also connected with families to ensure that they have, one, a laptop, and two, connectivity. If they have those issues, then we will take the extra mile to make sure they know where connectivity lies." 

"I have to be on call at all times, for anything. Something is different that's always happening. Nothing is the same on a daily basis as it pertains to technology," said Marcia Mitchell, an IT Specialist at the school. 

The first three weeks of virtual learning will include prerecorded lessons and in-person or virtual student orientation times with teachers. Instead of keeping up with notes, students will keep up with emails, apps and downloads. They're not the only ones nervously embracing a new normal, parents and staff are too.

RELATED: 'It will get easier' | Remote summer class gives Guilford County middle-schooler hope for first 9 weeks of school year

"I think learning with a teacher in the classroom is much more productive, but at least this way they are safe (for things) to even get better in time," said parent, Aaron Clyburn Sr. 

"So, we are excited about what we will learn and how we continue to grow as educators," Brown said.

Teachers at all other GCS schools head back to class on Monday, while students, including those enrolled in the district's two virtual academies, start remote learning on Aug. 17.