JAMESTOWN – Schools in Jamestown opened their doors Wednesday welcoming students back for the fall semester.
Pupils from kindergarten to high school are in the classroom for face-to-face instruction, with face masks in place adhering to safety protocols aiming to keep all schools COVID free.
Superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools, Dr. Kevin Whitaker, was among those who greeted students this morning.
“The highlight of today is the day,” said Whiatker, who goes on to describe his delight that in-person learning is back. “Helps us close the gap we have been seeing the past year and a half called the COVID slide, now we will be able to address them with in person learning.”
In addition to masks, temperature checks were in place when students entered the building.
Bush Elementary School Principal Kate Benson explains that students will, however, be given the opportunity to take mask breaks during the school day.
“We are all universally wearing our masks all day, there will be mask breaks provided every hour for five minutes that will staggered so that students sitting near each other are not taking mask breaks at the same time,” explained Benson.
Principal Beson, like many teachers in the school, is happy to bring an end to remote learning, saying “we need to be able to be together while we are learning”.
Bush Elementary has also made special arrangements for student lunch hours.
“During lunch hour students will be able to take their mask off because they will be seated at three or more feet in the cafeteria,” furthered Benson.
Each school seems to put their own flavor on reopening, but the Superintendent says one thing seems to be the same, the teacher’s joy to have kids back in class.
“What I know is that teachers love kids, they are overjoyed to have kids back, there is sometimes there is a narrative that staff don’t want the kids back, they don’t want to come back due to COVID-19, while I’m sure across the country there are some teachers that feel that, I have not run into that here,” said Whitaker said.
Students return Thursday for a full day of instruction following the half-day welcome back today, with kids off Friday and Monday for Labor Day and back Tuesday.