Wake County elementary students return for in-person classes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Wake County elementary students have returned to school for in-person classes for the first time since March 13.

The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the county's 160,000 students have been taking online classes only since March due to the coronavirus. On Monday school officials estimated that about 8,000 elementary students returned for in-person instruction as part of a plan to gradually bring more children back to school.

The county is phasing in the return of students. Many elementary schools only had around 50 students on campus Monday. That number will rise over the next three weeks.

Now, PreK-3 students and the K-12 special-education students in regional programs are split into three groups using a rotation of one week of in-person classes and two weeks of online classes. They won’t begin receiving daily in-person classes until Nov. 16.

Middle school students will return to school Nov. 9 for a three-week rotation of in-person and online courses. Fourth- and fifth-grade students will begin on that rotation on Nov. 16.

High school students will continue to only receive online classes for the rest of the fall semester, which ends in January.