Fayetteville elementary school temporarily shifts to remote learning, citing jump in COVID cases

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Sunnyside Elementary School in Fayetteville will be without their students in-person until Monday, Oct. 18.

The decision comes amid of seven positive COVID-19 cases from the last cluster dashboard and two students in quarantine.

"After reviewing the numbers over the weekend, at the end of last week and then coming into the new week watching the numbers at Sunnyside, the decision was made that would want to transition them to virtual learning," said Cumberland County Schools spokesman Lindsay Whitley.

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Whitley said the district superintendent consulted with school administrators and health officials prior to making the decision; which was relayed to parents on Monday afternoon.

"It struck up on us just so fast," said mom Angelica Pulley, who has two children who attend Sunnyside.

Pulley doesn't mind having her children at home because she works in the evenings. However, she understands other parents do not have that privilege.

"When we had full virtual last year, I had like 10 kids at my house," said Pulley. "But I was maintaining. I was trying to help the parents because they had to work. Or they couldn't leave their kids at home because they had to run an errand."

Whitley said as of Sept. 30, there were seven positive COVID cases at Sunnyside and two students in quarantine. However, those figures represent cases reported the previous week. So it's likely the most up-to-date numbers made available by the health department showed higher cases.

"I don't want to be virtual," said Pulley's second grade son, Anthony Hargrove. "I want to be at Sunnyside because that's where my school is!"

"I can't wait for them to go back," Pulley said.

Sunnyside Elementary will continue remote learning through Friday, Oct. 15 and return to in-person on Oct. 18.

"I'd rather be at school," Hargrove said.

The school will also provide free lunch for students while the physical campus is closed.

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