HARNETT COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been weeks since the pitter-patter of school-aged children was heard walking the halls of Lillington Shawtown Elementary.
Harnett County officials have implemented safety measures that they believe will keep students and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a school board meeeting Wednesday, the district opted to allow students to come back to classes. All students will be allowed to return to their classrooms Monday through Friday, however, class sizes will be reduced and additional health and safety measures will be in place. Parents can also opt to keep their child at home and learn remotely. While a student, with approval from the principal, can opt to switch from full-time in-person education to full-time remote learning or vice versa, students cannot switch between the two options on a daily basis.
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For students who opt to return to their classrooms, hand sanitizer stations are positioned throughout each school inside the common areas. Inside the classroom, desks are spaced six feet apart. There are arrows on the floor that show the direction students must walk to enter and exit the classroom. There are even guidelines for something as simple as drinking water--instead of drinking from the fountain, students will be asked to use paper cone cups. On the ride to school, there will be one person to each seat on the bus.
"We've taken the guidelines from state and federal agencies on that. They feel its adequate for students to return to school," said Superintendent Aaron L. Fleming of Harnett County Schools.
Students and staff will be expected to wear masks the entire day until health officials say otherwise.