Brunswick County Schools preparing to welcome back K-5 students

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BELVILLE, NC (WWAY)–Students across the country are beginning to get back into the swing of learning and some children here in the Cape Fear will be back in the classroom full time next week.

Elementary schools in Brunswick County are making their final preparations to welcome students back Monday, October 5th. 

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 “Day one of school is hard,”says Belville Elementary Principal Rick Hessman. “I don’t care if it’s August the 27th or October 5th, it’s a tough day.”

Elementary School administrators in Brunswick County have their hands full this week. A vote by the board of education last week paved the way for K-5 students to return to full in person learning. Some students will continue virtual learning under the new Plan A, but next Monday will still offer up a tall task for educators.

“Here at Belville we have 150 kids that will remain virtual, those kids obviously will stay at home to continue our virtual teaching and learning with them,”Hessman says.”But on Monday we’ll have 500 kids here and we will run school as we normally do.”

It will be a much different look at school than kids are used to. The capacity on school buses is being cut from 72 down to 48. Once inside the school, face coverings will be required at all times for both students and staff. To further cut down on the spread of covid-19 most water fountains have been replaced, with social distancing still playing a major factor

Nona Baker has taught at Belville Elementary since the school opened. She says while she has faced bumps in education over the years, 2020 might top them all. One of the biggest challenges she has experienced so far in the A/B plan is getting the children to understand that activities outside the classroom will not be the same.

“It’s also hard to try outside with them because they are social animals like I am,”says Belville Elementary 4th grade teacher Nona Baker. “They like to touch and tag and play ball and that’s been really difficult. They have turned to a lot of relay races and have learned how to play red light, green light.”

Elementary Schools in Brunswick County know they are going to be challenges along the way, but they’re confident in their preparation to make this yet another successful school year

“We’ll get through it with a very resilient staff and like I said I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.”

In Brunswick County, most K-5 students will return to the classroom full time on October 5th. Those students who chose virtual learning at the beginning of the school year will have the option to return to face to face instruction on October 21st.