Guilford County Schools Delays Reentry For Middle, High School Students

Guilford County Schools Delays Reentry For Middle, High School Students

11:52pm Jan 12, 2021
The Guilford County school board met virtually on Tuesday, January 12, 2020. They debated whether to bring back additional students as COVID-19 case counts increase in the community. KERI BROWN/WFDD

Guilford County Schools is delaying bringing back middle and high school students for in-person instruction for at least three weeks. Both groups were scheduled to return this month and will continue with remote learning.

The board of education voted 5 to 4 to delay reentry for these students after a long meeting Tuesday night.

Board members weighed recent COVID-19 data presented by local public health officials. Guilford County’s positivity rate is more than 13 percent and hospitalizations reached record levels in recent weeks.

The motion that passed requires district leaders to deliver a testing availability plan and provide more information on vaccinations in the community before adding additional students. But it gives some kids in this age group who are struggling academically a chance to reenter schools through learning hubs.

Whitney Oakley, chief academic officer with GCS, says these sites will also offer other supports to help address learning loss.

“We are expecting more information  regarding grants coming later this week and so we will share more details on that, but we're looking at our 15 traditional high schools and integrating mental health and opportunities for arts,” she says.

Third through fifth grade students recently joined younger children under the district’s gradual reentry plan.

Guilford County Schools says since November, more than 20,000 students have returned for in-person instruction.

*Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib-news

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