• Physical Distancing
  • What are the physical distancing protocols?

    In classrooms and other indoor school settings, staff should maintain three (3) feet of physical distance between students, where possible. In some situations, physical distancing may not be possible due to space limitations and the potential of limiting student access to in-person instruction/participation in the school’s educational program.

    Staff should maintain six (6) feet of physical distance from students when possible. This does not mean that teachers cannot move in more closely to assist students as needed; it does mean they may want to limit one-on-one assistance to just minutes at a time.

    Adults should stay six (6) feet apart from others (students and adults) to the greatest extent possible. Public health officials also encourage schools to limit prolonged, in-person exposure between adults when possible.

    Locker rooms/Gymnasiums/Cafetoriums

    Student use of locker rooms and lockers for PE and athletics is allowed. 

    In gymnasiums, “cafetoriums” and auditoriums, staff should maintain three (3) feet of physical distance between students to the extent possible.


    Principals/school administration will determine whether students are eating in the cafeteria, inside classrooms and/or other areas during lunch time. The use of outdoor spaces, with appropriate physical distancing, is encouraged. Principals may implement a rotation schedule if cafeterias are used.

    During meals, staff and students should maintain six (6) feet of physical distance to the maximum extent possible. 

    Staff meetings

    Staff meetings and other gatherings may be held in person, maintaining three (3) feet of physical distancing as much as possible. Staff should maintain six (6) feet of distance between adults to the greatest extent possible. Virtual and hybrid meetings are still encouraged when appropriate.

    Per NCDHHS, schools should:

    “Minimize opportunities for close contact resulting from sustained exposure (15 minutes or more, cumulative over a 24-hour period, within 6 feet distance) between teachers and staff during staff meetings, planning periods, lunch, recess, in teacher lounges, and break rooms and other areas teachers and staff may congregate.”