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Preparing for another challenging semester

Lenoir County Schools is participating in a COVID-19 testing pilot program for symptomatic students and staff.
Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 7:54 PM EST
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - Friday marks the end of what educators have called the most challenging school semester they’ve ever seen.

It’s forcing districts across Eastern North Carolina to consider lessons learned and rethink plans to make the spring even better.

“The biggest lesson that I’ve learned is how resilient our kids are,” said Teah Bulris, the principal of Hunter’s Creek Elementary School in Onslow County, “Teachers are having to look at new ways of instruction, how to incorporate technology and, of course, how to do things on our remote learning days.”

It’s been a semester of technology issues, safety protocols, and educators making the best of a bad situation.

However, when doors open back up in January, Lenoir County Schools are hoping to get out in front of the virus themselves.

The district is one of 17 across the state participating in North Carolina’s new school COVID testing pilot program. It received 2,500 rapid tests to give to symptomatic students and teachers, with results returning in about 15 minutes.

“Hopefully to find any positives that we may have so that we can prevent spread in the schools,” said April Hardy, a nurse at Rochelle Middle School who’s heading the program, “Children have to be healthy to learn. So, that’s what we want. And hopefully, this program right here will help facilitate that.”

The program will kick-off in January for students whose parents give consent to participate. Eventually, the goal would be to test every student and staff before they enter the building. Students and staff who test positive will be sent home.

To put a lid on what’s been a challenging, changing semester, and to make the next one even better.

“We’re here educating our kids every single day, that’s what we do,” said Bulris.

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