Only PreK-Grade 2 will return for in-person learning on Oct. 20

Greensboro, N.C. In response to Guilford County’s COVID-19 data, Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras today announced the district is slowing down its students’ return to the classroom.

The revised plan brings back students in pre-kindergarten through second grade on Oct. 20 for in-person instruction five days a week. However, sixth graders will not return as originally planned.

Families of students in grades K-2 who indicated they prefer remote learning over in-person instruction may continue to receive instruction at home, except at schools where interest was not high enough to support the program. 

The addition of a remote learning option will require changes to teacher assignments and class rosters. Principals will share new classroom teacher assignments for grades K-2 with parents/guardians prior to the start of school on Tuesday.

Following the re-entry of students in grades PreK-2, and pending another review of community health metrics, students in grades three through five will return on either Nov. 4 or 5. 

Schools serving as polling sites need additional time to reset spaces for classroom use and will undergo deep cleaning on Nov. 4. Students attending these schools will have remote learning on Nov. 4. Elementary schools serving as polling sites will reopen for in-person instruction on November 5. All other schools will reopen on Nov. 4.

Students at the district’s four public separate schools – Gateway Education Center, Herbin-Metz Education Center and Christine Joyner Greene Education Center – will also return Nov. 4 for in-person learning five days a week. As a polling site, Haynes-Inman Education Center students will return on Nov. 5. Originally, these students were scheduled to return to school October 20.

High school seniors who must complete requirements for the Certified Nurse Assistant credential prior to graduation in the spring will also return Nov. 4.

The decision about whether this second round of schools will reopen will be announced on Oct. 30.

“Given the current community health data, we are taking a more measured approach to returning students to the classroom,” Contreras said. “This approach will honor the preferences of parents who are ready for their child to resume in-person learning, while still protecting the health and wellness of our students and staff.”

As part of the revised plan and pending additional reviews of community health data and trends, middle school students and certain vulnerable student populations in grades 9-12 may return on Nov. 12. These students were originally slated to return on Oct. 26.

To reduce the number of students on campus at the same time by 50%, middle school students will return on a staggered, A/B schedule for two days of in-person learning and three days of remote learning. Certain vulnerable student populations in grades 9-12 also will return to school for in-person instruction.

This includes students in grades 9-12 who are homeless, in foster care, in the first two years of English language acquisition or who have disabilities and are served in a self-contained classroom. These students may return four days per week, with remote learning on Wednesdays.

The decision regarding the return to in-person learning for this round of students will be announced on Nov. 5.

If health metrics warrant a delay, these students may return on Dec. 7 or Jan. 4, with announcements made Nov. 30 and Dec. 29, respectively.

In addition, and as a precaution to limit possible community spread following the Thanksgiving holiday, all GCS schools and offices will be closed from Nov. 25 to Dec. 4. Students will engage in remote learning Nov. 30 through Dec. 4; staff will be working remotely.

High school students will return as planned at 50% capacity on an A/B schedule on Jan. 20, 2021, pending additional review of public health data and trends.

For more information on reopening schools, visit

About Guilford County Schools

Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina and the 47th largest of more than 14,000 in the United States, serves 73,000 PK-12 students at 127 schools. With approximately 10,000 employees, GCS works in partnership with parents, businesses, colleges and the community to deliver an education that connects student interests and skills with the careers and economy of our future here and around the world. We provide educational choices to meet individual student needs in a culturally diverse citizenship and new opportunities to help our students Soar to Greatness. For more information, visit the district’s website at


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