ROCK HILL, S.C. — For the first time since COVID-19 forced schools to implement virtual learning, Rock Hill Schools welcomed its youngest students back into the classroom Tuesday.
Elementary schools in Rock Hill welcomed Pre-K through second grade students back for in-person learning on a full-time basis beginning Tuesday morning.For many students, this will be their first time ever going to in-person school, so the district is asking for patience from parents, as it will take time for things to become "normal" again for thousands of kids.
Virtual learning is over for the nearly 2,500 students in Rock Hill, and they're the first group of students in the district to return to school for full-time, in-person classes as COVID-19 cases continue to pop up in the district.
Since Rock Hill Schools adopted its hybrid learning plan on Sep. 8, 55 students and 32 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus. At the time, schools in the district required masks to be worn in classrooms and common areas with occasional mask breaks, plexiglass barriers separating students and socially distanced seating. Those same safety measures will remain in place for elementary schools reopening full-time; however, the district says there will be fewer mask breaks and students will be sitting closer together.
Should something come up, Rock Hill school leaders say they're able to adjust their plan on a moment's notice to keep students and staff safe.
The second wave of students heading back for full-time, in-person learning will be on Nov. 30. That group will include all third- through fifth-grade students.