Carpenter Elementary provides closer look at new COVID-19 protocols for WCPSS students

COVID-19 and schools

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – On Thursday students at Carpenter Elementary set the example for what back to school COVID-19 protocols will look like for traditional Wake County students when they return to class come Monday. 

Parents who were on the fence about the return to in-person learning said the added safety measures make them feel more confident. 

“It’s very confusing to make your decision because the coronavirus goes away, comes back, goes away, comes back,” parent Naresh Agrawan said. “But we had to send him because we felt like we can’t keep him at home for an extended period of time.”

The measures include wearing face masks when entering and in the buildings, and there are reminders to social distance seen on the floors.

Social distancing reminders for students are placed on floors at Carpenter Elementary School in Cary. (Emani Payne)

In classrooms, it’s much of the same, including more hand washing and answering tough questions from kids about why they must now do things differently. 

Teachers said it’s forced them to think outside of the box.

“It (has) definitely been a different year, and probably one of the most challenging years, but we’re just happy to have the children back in the classroom,” Carpenter Elementary teacher Diann Tucker said.

Furthermore, come lunch time, students must eat with their assigned designated group. Face coverings are off to eat for 15 minutes and then back on to socialize and talk with friends for the rest of the break. 

Masks are however optional outdoors for recess.

Principal Dr. Fay Jones said there has been an adjustment period, but feels like things are moving in the right direction. 

“All in all I would say the kids have enjoyed being back together and seeing all their friends and interacting in person,” Dr. Jones said.

Despite COVID-19 cases now reported at several schools in the district, it said there are no plans to reopen the virtual academy to more students at this time. 

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