GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Monday marked a big day for the Triad's largest school district, with all grade levels back in the classroom full time. This milestone comes after eight months of remote learning and delayed decisions.
There's only a month and a half left in the school year, but for Page High School senior Ellie Jones, returning to for a final month in-person was worth it.
"It's been a crazy year with a lot of adapting and a lot of changes, which has been hard," she said, "I went to second period and we had 30 people in my classroom. It was so nice. Our teacher turned around to write something on the board, and everyone was talking and laughing and he didn't get frustrated. He turned around and was like, this was awesome. This is what I've been missing...you guy are being loud and obnoxious, but this is what's it's like to be a teacher again."
She said the excitement of seeing teachers and friends outweighed the nerves she felt of changing up her routine once again. Many opted to do the same, and go in Monday through Friday, whether graduating this summer, or not.
"We were all really excited that we got to finish out the year together," Jones said, "Just all of us in person... which was nice."
"We were just scared of the unknowns, there were just so many questions we didn't have answered," said Northwest Guilford sophomore Sheldon Ulmer.
Ulmer decided to stay home and stick with remote learning for the entire year.
"For the people who are back, they're enjoying it," he said, "In hindsight, I wish I went back now that everybody is there five days a week, it sounds pretty fun."
He's staying optimistic for the final weeks of the semester.
"I still feel like with remote, we're not getting as much material and instruction as we need to get, but I think it's definitely improved, and I think we'll be able to finish out the year fine."
He hopes for a better Fall 2021, with a best case scenario of returning to the classroom - fully out of the pandemic.