Burke Co preps for elementary students in class four days a week

Some Burke Co. schools prepare for return to in-person learning

MORGANTON, N.C. (WBTV) - Starting Monday, elementary school students in Burke County will be in classrooms four days a week.

There won’t be a breakdown into groups for only two days a week of in-person learning.

Instead, the entire student body will be in the building just as they were pre-COVID-19.

“It’s just better all the way around,” said teacher Tara Churchill.

The move comes after the Burke County Board of Education voted two weeks ago to take elementary children off of hybrid learning.

The four-day week will allow teachers to use Wednesdays for students who need special help and for schools to do some extra cleaning, though they said the sanitizing procedures are underway every day. 

To make space for classes as large as 28 students, the staff at George Hildebrand Elementary moved all chairs, tables and even desks that were not needed out of the classrooms.

That left more space for social distancing, officials said, even though the state does not require a 6-foot buffer around elementary children.

“That’s what the state guidelines say,” said Principal Erin Wall. 

Wall praised her staff for what they have done so far to prepare for the children coming back to the classrooms.

The new plan for learning will be monitored closely, she said.

School officials say adjustments will be made when necessary.

Masks, hand washing and social distance when possible will still be the rule, they said.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.