Parents, teachers preparing for Guilford County Schools decision

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — With Guilford County Schools set to make a decision on how they are going to reopen schools, parents, teachers and students are anxiously waiting for what comes next.

Multiple parents and one teacher who spoke to FOX8 News agreed the biggest thing they want to see is as much consistency to students’ schedules as possible.

“I realized this is a tough decision that will impact both sides of the coin,” said Jason Caldwell, a parent at Kiser Middle School.

The common thread? What’s best for students in Guilford County.

Tuesday’s decision will determine what model of learning this school year will bring.

“I think for us, virtual is extremely helpful. We are fortunate that one of us has the ability to be home,” Caldwell said. “We can be home and if there’s questions we can help them out.”

Caldwell’s son is a rising sixth grader at Kiser Middle School. While he admits there’s no right answer to how to get kids back to school safely in the middle of a pandemic, he said his is son was successful with virtual learning during the spring.

“Majority of the time he was self-sufficient,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell is on the district-wide pandemic task force created to tackle this very debate. He admits, every student needs something different, so what works for his child may not work as well for others.

Teachers are wrestling with the options available too.

“I really can’t process or digest any of it until they tell me, ‘This is what we’re doing,'” said Diamond Williams, a history teacher at Smith High School.

Williams is the varsity volleyball coach at Smith High School and has a 10-year-old son who goes to school in Guilford County too. She said she wants classes to be in person after the first five weeks.

“As a parent, as a teacher, as a coach, my babies need to see me. They need to see me. Also the relationships, social aspect of it,” she said.

She started a YouTube channel when the pandemic started in March, giving her students the in-person feel so many of them miss. It’s something she plans to keep doing regardless of Tuesday’s decision.

As a volleyball coach, she has her athletes train virtually. They send her videos of them practicing different moves.

Caldwell agrees, keeping social interaction has proven one of the biggest challenges for everyone.

“How then do we at home create a space so that they can interact with their classmates and their peers?” Caldwell said.

Guilford County Schools is set to make its decision around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

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