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'It was the announcement we've been waiting for' | Stokes, Davidson County Schools return to the classroom this week under Plan B

Stokes County Schools opened under Plan C, or all remote learning, at the beginning of the year. But this week, some students are back - for half the time.

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. — Several Triad school systems are now operating under Plan B - with most students spending half the time in the classroom, and half the time continuing to learn online. Starting this week, that includes Stokes and Davidson County Schools. Next week, Surry County, Rockingham County, and Asheboro City Schools will join that list. 

In Stokes County, the holdup for in-person instruction occurred due to a lack of PPE and sanitizing and disinfecting supplies at the beginning of the school year. But once district administrators secured the necessary supplies - they were good to go - starting back this week, with A days and B days. 

As both a Stokes County parent of five and a teaching assistant at London Elementary, Karri Mullins jumped for joy at the start of in-person learning. 

"I told my kids, guess what? We're going back to school!" she said, "I was so excited."

Not only was she excited to see her students in an actual classroom, set up with social distancing in mind, but she was excited for her own kids to get back a sense of structure. 

"Kids, in my opinion, need to be in school," Mullins said, "My youngest daughter - she struggles. She needs that structure. My older ones? They probably would do OK with virtual learning if we had to do Plan C permanently, but my younger daughter would not."

Mullins said she trusts the district to keep them safe. That feeling is shared by parent Kristi Mitchell. Her kids are in Group B and will start back in the building for the first time Thursday morning.

"I know the schools have done an amazing job with their protocols," she said, "Just dropping them off is going to be interesting tomorrow with the temperature checks, and that kind of stuff."

Mitchell says the remote learning start to the year has been a benefit for her 6th grader, Caleb. 

"He got to meet his teachers, and meet the students online before he just went full-on into this new environment," she said. 

While online learning went well at her house, she said they're ready for the return.

"It's the announcement we've been waiting for - for them to be able to just go and be kids and be somewhat normal."