'We are just truly ready': Cumberland County Schools give sneak peek of what elementary schools will look like under Plan B

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- With students returning to the classroom for the first time in nearly a year, Cumberland County Schools gave media outlets a tour of one of the elementary schools that is prepared for the start of Plan B.

Principal Letreicia Allen, with W.H. Owen Elementary School, laid out the format of how staff will process students on a day-to-day basis.

First, parents and students will fill out a survey on their assigned days: for Cohort A, it's Monday and Tuesday, while Cohort B is scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

If they don't complete the survey before arriving on-site, there will be picket signs placed on the school lawn with a QR code for them to do so.

Once that's completed, students will wait in a socially distanced line to go through a screening process, before entering the building. Staff will check their temperatures, ask them a few questions, and provide masks and hand sanitizer, if needed.

The hallway floors have stickers to promote social distancing and walls are filled with reminders to maintain six feet distance and properly wear a mask.

Water fountains will only be used to fill up cups or water bottles provided by the school, while restrooms will be at a limited capacity.

Allen tells ABC11 teachers and school employees have been working diligently to prepare the elementary school, "We are just truly ready to bring them back... they are inside their classrooms now, preparing instruction, preparing those safety measures that will be put in place on Monday."

A prepared meal will also be given out to students, upon entering the building, with to-go meals prepared for them to take home on their virtual days.

In the classroom, Yolanda Gunter, a 4th-grade teacher, spent Thursday morning teaching her students virtually, something that will change on Monday morning.

"With them being face to face, you know, you can have a more hands-on, you know, if you will, and so, I'm looking forward to the student achievement and watching them grow and just watching them flourish," Gunter said.

Tables are spread across the classroom and cohort A and B labels placed on the tables to create spacing between seating.

A CCS spokesperson tells Eyewitness News that around 51 percent of its employees have been vaccinated out of their estimated 8,000 total staff.

"We have truly built this excitement around coming back in a safe manner," Allen said.
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