ENC schools focus on cleaning, connection during pandemic


BRIDGETON, N.C. (WNCT) — There’s hand sanitizer at every corner, lots of masks, and dots marking six feet for social distancing.

It’s the new normal at Bridgeton Elementary School.

“We cleaned from bottom to top,” said Tony Sawyer, a custodian at the school. “My fingers have never been cramped up from wiping down so much.”

According to Sawyer, this is quite the job.

“We cleaned from vents to bathrooms, two or three times a day,” said Sawyer.

Custodial staff wipes down high touch areas multiple times a day. Careful labor is done to make sure students are safe from COVID-19.

Administrators also stress the Three W’s: wear, wait, and wash.

I was ready to come back as soon as school started,” said Mary Jones, a 3rd grade teacher.

Jones checks her students’ temperatures twice a day. Her kids use hand sanitizer before and after they leave the classroom.

Jones has taught at Bridgeton for 13 years.

“We can do so much more for our students when they’re with us,” said Jones.

She was nervous when her only connection to students was virtual.

Having her kids back, even with social distancing, is the best feeling.

“There’s so much to be learned inside the walls of this classroom,” said Jones.

Jones also stressed this process has taken a lot of patience from teachers, staff and parents.

For Sawyer, seeing the kids and doing what he can to protect them, makes him happy.

“My grandkids are going to be able to say, granddaddy helped somebody,” said Sawyer.

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