Private schools in the Triad prepare for kids to come back

News

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Plexiglass dividers, temperature checks, foggers to sanitize classrooms and the list continues.

Private schools in the Triad are preparing to welcome kids back to the classroom, in person, for the very first time since March.

FOX8 went around Guilford County to see how different schools are getting ready.

Each private school is taking a different approach to preventing COVID-19 on campus.

At Caldwell Academy, families will be asked to screen their child by 7:30 each morning, using an app on their phone.

Masks will have to be worn throughout the day, with the exception of kindergartners, who will have Plexiglass shields installed on each desk.

There are also six to eight different outdoor learning spaces so that kids have a chance to get fresh air and a chance to take their masks off.

Private school administrators across the Piedmont are making sure that in-person learning is also safe learning.

With a green light on the screen, it’s a go for students to head inside Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point.

Anyone entering the building must get their temperature checked, and a mask check, using a small device by the main office.

Once students and staff head through the doors, things will look a little different.

“We’ve spaced out all of our desks six feet apart,” said Katie Hambright, who teaches third grade at the academy.

She was putting the finishing touches on her classroom on Wednesday morning.

“Each student will get five masks that they will take home,” Hambright said. “They have a lanyard that they’ll be able to use to easily get their masks up and down throughout the day.”

Administrators have added Plexiglass barriers to some rooms, where social distancing isn’t so easy, like the media center and computer lab.

They also want to stay flexible and prepare in case there are changes in public health guidance, or in the event a child has to quarantine away from school.

Staff is implementing the “Swivl.” It’s technology they plan on using through Google classroom, through a tablet, that allows remote and in-person teaching to be seamless.

“The kids at home will truly feel like they’re in the classroom as well,” said Richard Bradley, the academy’s IT specialist. “As I’m sitting here, writing on the board, the kids at home will see exactly what I’m writing and be able to participate. We’ll be able to see them raise their hand or ask a question.”

Wesleyan Christian Academy resumes classes on Aug. 18.

Other private schools in the Piedmont have a little more time to prepare.

“We’re spreading students out across campus, making sure we have enough room in the classrooms,” said Carolyn Vallejos, the head of the Lower School at New Garden Friends School.

Things are just getting started there, because school doesn’t start until Aug. 25.

School staff is currently working on how to separate their students.

“We’ll have students clustered together with a teacher. They won’t be interacting with any other levels,” Vallejos said.

They’re also working on keeping kids engaged in learning, despite all of the drastic changes.

“We’re going to use the term physical distancing instead of social distancing. We want to have that community feeling and we want everyone to know that school is a place to come and be with your friends,” she said.

Like Caldwell Academy, administrators at New Garden Friends are also working on ways to get creative and get kids outside.

“We’ve always been a school where students spend a lot of time outdoors for play and outdoor education,” Vallejos said. “This year, we’ll be doing that even more than usual.”

Must-See Stories

More Must-See Stories
North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline: 1-866-462-3821

MOST POPULAR

Follow FOX8 on Twitter