New Hanover County Elementary Schools prepare for Plan A

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Walter Parsley Elementary School (photo: Peyton Furtado)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — It’s almost here. Monday marks the beginning of Plan A for New Hanover County Elementary Schools, and staff from Parsley Elementary School say they are more than ready.

Around 91 percent of their kids will return full-time Monday.

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“I cannot wait to have everybody back in my classroom,” said third grade teacher, Lindsay Joyce. “To all be together…. the kids are excited! The “A” group has not been with the “B” group. So their excited, it’ll be like the first day!”

Throughout Plan B, teachers and staff said they got a chance to practice safety precautions with fewer children.

Now, they’re a well-oiled machine, forming assembly lines to take students’ temperatures, closing and limiting high touch areas, and even creating personal space with tape and plexiglass in the classroom.

“And the students know,” Joyce continued, “that if their desks scoot outside the square they have to bring it back. So, it’s a nice visual for them to remember, Ooop! I’ve got to straighten my desk.”

According to Eddie Anderson, Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Planning, teachers have attempted to create at least three feet of social distance, even though new guidance from the state does not require traditional social distancing within elementary schools.

Anderson said staff has also been trained to properly clean high touch areas after use.

“We are wiping down and disinfecting periodically high touch,” Anderson explained, “high traffic areas throughout the day.  Throughout the day, teachers are then provided the same products so that they can wipe down students’ desks and horizontal surfaces. And then we’re coming in at night and doing a more thorough cleaning.”

With the wait finally over, and precautions in place teachers say they’re looking forward to what Monday will bring, and hope this change will spell success for the rest of the semester. Lindsay Joyce included.

“Well, I hope we have a dynamite fourth quarter. We’re so excited.”

Though most elementary schoolers are returning to in-person, full time classes, parent still have the option to remain in virtual learning.