2021’s Top Stories: HC Public Schools reopen

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

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From March 10, 2021

MURFREESBORO – It’s been nearly one year since the classrooms here at Riverview Elementary School served as the weekday home of local students.

On the morning of March 8, 30-or-so students entered the building for the first time since March 14, 2020. This comes after the Hertford County Board of Education approved a plan in late February from Superintendent Dr. William T. Wright Jr. that calls for students to return to in-person learning under Plan B, which requires social distancing and a hybrid attendance schedule for those families that chose to do so in a survey that was presented to the Board of Education on Jan. 21.

Hertford County’s trio of Pre-K through grade 5 schools – Riverview along with Bearfield Primary and Ahoskie Elementary – reopened March 8.

“We are so, so happy about having our kids back with us,” stated Riverview Principal Lee Ford. “We’ve missed them; they’ve been away too long and we’re so excited to see all those smiling faces.”

Ford said everyone at Riverview is following the back-to-school guidelines as established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Riverview Assistant Principal Terrell Deloatch was among the staff welcoming the arrival of the students. She ensured they were following the proper health and safety procedures that have been put in place.

“For the students arriving by bus, they are allowed to exit one at the time,” Deloatch noted. “They then follow the sidewalk, marked for social distancing, and present their symptoms checklist ticket.”

Using an electronic scan of their foreheads, Deloatch added that a monitor checks the body temperature of each student when they first get on the bus.

“Their temperature is taken again by the school nurse at the entrance of the school. Once that screening is completed, they pick up their breakfast and report to their classroom,” she said.

For the students who are transported to school by their parents, Deloatch explained they are not allowed to exit the vehicle until a screener, using the same type of device, takes the body temperature of the child.

“If the temperature is okay, they are clear to present their symptoms checklist. The student is then directed into the building where they pick up their breakfast and report to their class,” Deloatch stated.

Of the 360 students enrolled at Riverview, 35 returned on March 8. The remaining students receive instruction remotely every day (Plan C), either by a home computer or by written packets for those without Internet access.

It was reported that the number of returning students at Bearfield Primary School will cause half to attend classes on Mondays and Tuesdays while the other half will use Thursdays and Fridays for their face-to-face learning.

Dr. Wright said he was pleased to see the children back in class.

“Students and staff were so excited on Monday; it’s a day we’ve been planning for and looking forward to,” he said.

As for the other schools in the county, Early College High School returned to face-to-face instruction on March 15. CS Brown High School STEM, Hertford County Middle School, and Hertford County High School followed one day later (March 16).

Families who have chosen to have their students remain on Plan C will still have the option to do so.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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