First Lady Pamela Northam visits Rocky Mount Elementary with education officials

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam visited Rocky Mount Elementary School on Friday. She and other state officials were particularly pleased with how Franklin County has endured the challenges of the pandemic.

First Lady Northam visited the school to thank the students and teachers who have had such a tough year.

“They’ve kept our kids healthy and happy and learning during this really difficult time, so we’re here to thank them and the school personnel for doing all of their great work,” Northam said.

She said she is especially impressed with how this school has safely held in-person learning. There were several changes throughout the school year and now many pre-K through seventh grade students are in the classroom four days a week. Starting Monday, March 29th, all Franklin County students have the option to attend in-person classes five days a week.

”You can hear from the joy behind me and the students here today, they are so excited about being back at in-person learning, and it is so important, because we are getting data that shows us we are behind in our literacy scores. Teachers are very worried about the social and emotional development of the students,” Northam explained.

The Virginia State Superintendent, James Lane, and the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Daniel Carey, also joined the school tour.

“This is a great opportunity today to see our policy supporting getting kids safely back to school. I am so impressed by the teachers, administrators and students at how closely they are adhering to the guidelines,” Carey said

“Our school divisions are focused on getting students back in school now, which we think is essential to our students’ success,” Lane added.

Franklin County’s Superintendent Bernice Cobb said it means a lot for the First Lady and the other education members to come to the school and acknowledge all of the work done at Rocky Mount Elementary.

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