Guilford County high schools prepare for students’ return

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — It has been 340 days since middle and high school students have stepped into a classroom in Guilford County. On Monday they will start phasing back to in-person learning.

“It won’t look the same,” said Ged O’Donnell, Grimsley High School principal.

Classes will be smaller, the bell schedule will be extended and some Grimsley traditions will have to change this year.

When students arrive at school they will walk in, scan the QR code, and get their temperature taken.

If they don’t have a mask, one will be waiting in their homeroom.

On the bus, in the halls and classrooms, kids will find social distancing markers lining the seats and the floors.

Class sizes will be smaller and sanitizing stations will be at every door.

Principal Ged O’Donnell told FOX8 pandemic restrictions have forced staff to use every available space at Grimsley High School, including the cafeteria, which has been converted into four classrooms. No more big group lunches or lunches off-campus.

“Students will be eating lunch in the classrooms this year,” O’Donnell said.

Students will also need to make sure surfaces remain safe.

“At the end of every lesson, students will be given a wipe or two, and they will have to wipe down their learning area in respect for the next student that will be coming into the building,” O’Donnell said.

Even with all the changes, O’Donnell and his team are excited to open and welcome students back

“I’m a firm believer that school without students is like the Beatles without Ringo. It’s just not the same,” O’Donnell said.

Something that’s completely new this year to Grimsley is a 20-minute homeroom at the start of the day. That period will allow students to complete their health screening and get to class.

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