Elementary students return to full time, in-person learning in New Hanover County


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Schools welcomed its elementary students back to campus for full time, in-person learning on Monday.

WWAY was at Bradley Creek Elementary when students returned to school.

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“[I’ve] been looking forward to this day for a while. The kids have too,” 5th grade teacher Kristy Carter said. “I feel like we’ve — since what, March a year ago, have been preparing to have my whole class back, and this is the first day that both groups have officially met each other and experienced 5th grade in a classroom.”

“I was definitely excited to see all of my friends again, and I was also excited that I get to spend more of my time with Ms. Carter, my teacher,” student Sydney Jarrett.

Sydney, a 5th-grader, says she prefers in-person learning over remote learning.

“I think that it’s just a bit easier because you’re face-to-face and not distracted by anything at home,” Sydney said.

NHCS Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust visited Bradley Creek Elementary to see first-hand how staff member are working to keep children safe under Plan A.

“We have as much social distance as we can in all the classrooms, every classroom has more than 3 feet, and some have 6 feet,” Bradley Creek Elementary School Principal Lauren Kefalonitis said. “In addition, we do have partitions on tables, where student share that table and sit face-to-face.”  

Foust says the return to the classroom will be a positive thing for students especially those who may have been struggling with remote learning.

“The biggest thing is making sure that we are literally tapping in to the social and emotional, and because that’s the biggest part is that kids learn better when they are, I’ll say challenged with their peers, and sometimes their peers can teach them better than the adults,” Foust said.

Under Plan A, New Hanover County elementary students will attend school in-person Monday through Friday. Students also still have the option to do full-time remote learning.