More Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools students are back in classrooms this week. Children in grades two, three and six returned to schools after months of remote learning. They joined some younger students who started back in November.

A sign saying “We can't mask our excitement” greeted returning parents and students at South Fork Elementary. More than 160 students returned to classrooms there on Monday.

Everyone is still adjusting to the changes. The hallways and cafeteria floors are marked with stickers to show kids social distancing guidelines. There are one-way entrances and exits and daily temperature checks. Masks are also required.

Dr. Raphael Green-Hughes is the principal at South Fork. She says so far, it's going smoothly.

“What we truly want is for all of our scholars to have a high-quality education and to have an opportunity to experience some normalcy, and so it's a really great feeling to have them to be here and be present, and we are just excited to welcome them," she says.

School leaders at South Fork will have weekly town hall meetings through Zoom to answer questions from parents and to keep them informed.

All grades in the district, including high school are scheduled to return to classrooms by the end of the month.

Interim superintendent Tricia McManus visited several schools on Monday.

“This is a big deal to bring our students back," she says. "We will do everything that we can for people to feel good about this decision. I want to thank the community for their support and ask people to please follow every strategy outside of schools, so we can keep our schools operating successfully.”

McManus says her staff is monitoring schools throughout the district to find out if more support is needed. 

The exact number of students attending in-person classes on Monday wasn't available from district officials, but McManus says recent surveys show more than half of the student population say they plan to head back to classrooms.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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