Elementary students move to Plan A Oct. 20

The Yadkin School Board meets to discuss more students returning to campus under Plan A.

Kitsey Burns Harrison | The Yadkin Ripple

Yadkin County elementary students will spend more time in the classroom beginning Tuesday, Oct. 20. Yadkin Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Martin presented his recommendations to the Board of Education to return more students to in-person learning during a meeting on Monday.

“My recommendation is that we bring more students back,” Martin told the board. “The safety measures and protocols will still be in place. We will still have the face coverings. We will still have social distancing wherever and whenever we can. We will still have a lot of students picking up their food and eating in classrooms. I feel like we can do this safely. Thus far we’ve proven we can do this safely. We have not had a single school based transmission of COVID-19. It’s all happened outside of the school house walls.”

Students in the county elementary schools will transition at the start of the new quarter from a two day a week cohort system to a four day in-person learning schedule. Students will be on campus Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with Wednesday being a remote learning day where the schools will be deep cleaned.

Martin said all the other safety protocols such as temperature screenings, face coverings and social distancing will continue.

Abby Salas of the Yadkin Virtual Academy said around 90 students from the virtual academy have requested to move to in-person learning. Around 13 students have requested to move from in-person learning to the Yadkin Virtual Academy.

Governor Roy Cooper announced last month that elementary schools in the state could transition from Plan B to a Plan A option with more students on campus by Oct. 5. Though middle and high school students will not yet transition to have more students on campus, Martin said school administrators had been in the preliminary planning stages. One option that has been discussed for the middle schools was an a.m./p.m. schedule with some students on campus until lunch and another group arriving at lunch. Martin told the board they would continue to work on plans to move more students to campus.

Executive Director of Student Support Services Kristi Gaddis gave a brief update to the board on the number of positive cases on Yadkin school campuses thus far. As of Oct. 5 there were 10 cases total across the 15 campuses. There have been a total of 31 cases across all of the county schools since school began on Aug. 24. Gaddis said that she and school nurses were in contact daily with the Yadkin County Health Department and extensive contact tracing was taking place. Gaddis said that there had been no school-based transmissions of COVID-19 according to contact tracing data. Measures in place such as assigned seating on buses have helped with contract tracing to ensure those who may have potentially been near an infected person could be alerted and quarantined.

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.