Watauga County Schools will continue a mix of in-person and remote learning in the new semester for most students. The district is keeping a close eye on recent COVID-19 spikes in the community.

Kindergarten through 12th grade will continue in a hybrid model, with two days of in-person instruction. Pre-K and exceptional children will remain attending in-person classes four days a week.

The district says it has seen an increase in COVID-19 numbers corresponding to each holiday going back to the summer. Since August, the district has reported a total of 157 confirmed cases.

Superintendent Scott Elliott says the district is working to meet the needs of families.

“Staff members from our central office are going out to help cover classes and doing different things just to keep school open. That's the biggest challenge," says Elliott. "We aren't seeing the spread of the virus in schools. It is the isolations, and our staff members having to stay home. That is the operational challenge.”

Elliott says they hope to bring K-5 back full-time in January, but the health metrics will determine that.

The district is also partnering with the local health department to provide free COVID-19 testing events for the school community.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on twitter @kerib_news

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