Students excited to make long-awaited return to class at Raeford school

RAEFORD, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's back to school for some students in Raeford. Even during this pandemic, officials have said that getting students back into the classroom is about re-establishing a sense of normalcy in the safest way possible.

The school day at SandHoke Early College starts with temperature checks. Masks are enforced throughout the day as well.

Students head to class in one-way hallways marked with stickers to remind them to maintain their distance. Inside each classroom is a hand sanitizer station with desks spaced six feet apart. These are all big changes for sophomore student Hayden Logan who says it makes her feel safe.

"At first, I was nervous due to the circumstances that we're going through. Now that we got here, it's all good and I'm excited," Logan said.

WATCH: Georgia schools face scrutiny after back-to-school pictures show lack of COVID-19 precautions
EMBED More News Videos

Two suburban Atlanta school districts that began in-person classes Monday with mask-optional policies face more questions about COVID-19 safety protocols after on-campus pictures showed students packed shoulder-to-shoulder.



Hand sanitizer stations are set up throughout the school and inside each classroom. Students are expected to practice social distancing even during lunch on the quad. Red markers help keep students like sophomore Clayton Baker on track.

"There's many procedures you can take to protect students and faculty. There's always that chance of somebody slipping and not wearing their masks and not practicing social distancing," Baker said.

More than half the students who attend this school have returned to the classroom. School officials have implemented a hybrid learning schedule to reduce the number of students on campus at one time.

WATCH: Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visit Apex's Thales Academy
EMBED More News Videos

Vice President Mike Pence visits RTP facility taking part in COVID-19 vaccine trials



Students are expected to attend school Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday. They learn from home on the days they aren't in school.

Hoke County Schools Spokeswoman Jodie Bryant told ABC11 these precautionary measures are in place to keep COVID-19 at bay. According to Bryant, returning to school provides students with the structure they are used to.

"Our students are used to having summer break. They've been out since March. They haven't had much interaction with friends and teachers. It's very important for their social and emotional health to come back into the school."
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.