GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Guilford County Schools has canceled all out-of-state travel after the coronavirus was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, according to a statement from Guilford County Schools.
“We recognize and regret that this decision may create financial hardships for students and families as travel arrangements have already been made and may not be refundable,” said Wanda Legrand, GCS chief student services officer. “However, with the WHO declaration, we believe this is a necessary step to protect the health and welfare of our students and staff.”
At this time, per the North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, all scholastic and athletic competitions are continuing as planned.
“As we’ve said many times, this is a fluid and rapidly changing situation. As more information comes in, recommendations and guidelines will be updated accordingly,” said Legrand.
Colfax Elementary School first announced the news, adding that a planned 5th grade trip to Williamsburg in April that will no longer happen.
“We anticipate this travel ban will be in effect until the end of the school year,” the school said.
Other schools have had to cancel events as well, including Page High School’s band trip to New York City.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools suspended all school-sponsored field trips and staff out-of- district professional development programs effective Thursday, according to a news release.
All WS/FCS school-sponsored trips will remain on hold until further notice.
This does not include official school athletic contests and group competitions. The school district will follow guidance from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and other state organizations about how this will impact athletic events and competitions, according to the release.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions as needed,” WS/FCS said. “We will always communicate with parents as soon as any decisions are made and will keep you advised on the latest information. Leaders in our district continue to monitor the latest news regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are working closely with local and state health officials to keep our students and staff safe and healthy.”