A major milestone occurred as Moore County students in all grades are back in the classroom after more than a year. In discussing the reopening of schools at a Monday afternoon work session, the Moore County Board of Education also heard plans to hold proms and graduations after being canceled last year over COVID-19 concerns.
On Monday, more than 7,000 students in middle and high school got back to full-time, in-person instruction across the county, trying to regain some sense of normalcy after a turbulent year. It has been a time unlike any seen with economic and personal devastation felt across the world and here in our area caused by the coronavirus.
Elementary school students have been in the classroom full-time since January. The move to open classrooms to younger children came after realizing that remote learning was proving to be particularly challenging. Also a factor, the rate of infection is lower in the elementary school population.
Still, older students have also struggled with social isolation and remote learning. Teenagers, so accustomed to seeing their friends and teachers in the classroom, can now look forward to getting back to a more normal school experience.
The decision by the board of education was long-awaited by parents calling to reopen schools months ago. While others just assume to continue their student’s education remotely until the remainder of the school year over COVID-19 health concerns.
The move to bring back students in grade six through 12 classrooms comes after Gov. Roy Cooper announced it would be possible by relaxing social distancing requirements to provide for 3-feet social distancing. Face coverings are still required, but daily temperature checks are no longer needed.
Previously, school sports events were permitted to resume, with special accommodations. Welcome news for parents and athletes alike, despite a restriction on spectator attendance. Performing arts have also been given go-ahead to plan their events.
Feature photo: Students arriving at Pinecrest High School on the first day back to normal full-time, in-classroom learning after over a year because of coronavirus concerns.
~ Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.