NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - After weeks of remote learning, students and teachers once again occupy classrooms in New Hanover County as the district begins Plan B.
Southeast Area Technical (Sea-Tech) High School welcomed freshmen Monday.
“The first day of high school is a really big deal,” said Dr. Edith Skipper, the principal. “They came in [Monday] morning and they didn’t know each other.”
Sea-Tech accepts freshman from middle schools in both Pender and New Hanover Counties. Students take their core classes to graduate, but they also take classes at CFCC that way when they do graduate with their high school diploma, they have a chance to also earn an associates degree.
“They were really thrilled to be here,” said Dr. Skipper. “A little nervous at first. We haven’t gotten to talking as much as we want them to talk yet, but they were really excited to be here.”
In September, the NHC Board of Education voted for the AA/BB model of Plan B for students. At Sea-Tech, freshman go on Mondays and Tuesday and learn from home the rest of the week. The rest of the grades learn from home the first part of the week and go to school on Thursdays and Fridays. Dr. Skipper says 81% of freshmen, the grade that makes up most of the students at Sea-Tech, opted for to return to the classroom. Those who chose to learn from home full time have the option to come back at anytime they wish.
Several precautions are in place to keep students, teachers, and staff safe. There are social distancing markers on the floors. Hallways are used for one-way directions. There are cleaning supply and sanitizing stations in each classroom and along the hallways. Students wear masks most of the time with the exception of eating and the occasional break to walk outside.
Teachers say it took a lot of team work and planning... and after these first few days of class, it’s the hard work has seemed to pay off.
“Dr. Skipper and our student support services and some of the teachers involved did a lot as far as scheduling, as far as ensuring that our kids would be placed in the right rooms, the spacing, the materials that they’re going to use," Christa Tompkins, an English teacher at Sea-Tech. "There was a lot that went in to it. We were fortunate in that so much planning was done that [Monday] ran so smoothly.”