SCIOTO — The day is here, schools have started in some local school districts, as they had their first day of school on Wednesday and will have their second first day on Thursday with all the unanswered questions that go with those first days.
”I was outside at the very beginning whenever parents were dropping off kids, the buses came in and it was a smooth start in the morning,” New Boston Superintendent, Melinda Burnside said. “The classrooms are not that large at this point in time and seeing the classrooms, we are definitely social distancing, and there are many safety precautions happening today, what you should do, what you shouldn’t do.”
When asked if she thought the students were excited to be back Wednesday, she quickly answered, “Absolutely, excited, and they seemed excited to come in. Hopefully, they left their masks all day. I haven’t seen anybody with their masks off.” She said she had not had any feedback that things were not going well throughout the building, so hopefully, things were going smoothly.
” We have our second group coming in tomorrow. We will be doing the same things as we did today,” Burnside said. “We wanted to get the kids in. We wanted to get organized, what their daily schedule is going to be because it’s totally different from it has been in the past. Everyone was on-site, directing them to the classroom and that is where they have been all day long. There were no exchanges in the hallways, no going to the cafetorium for lunches, no band at this time and no singing in chorus. On Friday, I’ll meet with my two principals and get feedback from them on how things went and of course, I’ve been answering phone calls all day from Mr. Stapleton and Mrs. Dever on things that we might not have talked about.”
Sciotoville Community Schools started on Wednesday also, and Foresta Shope, the Superintendent, spoke with the Daily Times, “Our first day back with students was pretty awesome! We believe that everyone from our administration, staff, students, parents, and community members was extremely excited to be back! We have had so many staff members put so much time and love into preparing for this new year.”
Shope shared the school has prioritized student and staff health and safety with every aspect of planning and implementation. From start to finish, Shope said overall. The day was a pretty smooth transition for the first day back with the new health and safety guidelines and protocols in place.
“Students and parents were very respectful of following our new expectations regarding new pickup/drop-off procedures, wearing a mask and following social distancing requirements,” Burnside said. “We will have a new group of students beginning their first day tomorrow, and we are looking forward to another successful day! Friday, our administration will be meeting with staff to discuss this week and work out any future adjustments. Principals and teachers will be working with our strictly online learners, getting them set up and ready for their classes. The staff will also be available on Fridays to communicate with parents and students and answering any questions they may have. Definitely proud to be a Tartan!”
Speaking with Marc Kreischer, Superintendent from Bloom-Vernon, he had this to tell about their first day with students, “We were very excited to have everyone back, we thought it went very well. I just finished walking through the buildings, and it’s been an exciting day. Having some of our students back and our staff back, it’s a positive atmosphere created here. It was great to see. The kids were coming in and you couldn’t see their faces because of their masks, but you could tell that they were excited to be here. Our staff and administration worked very hard. All the hard work and planning this summer, you could see it come together today. You could see the anticipation to see how all the planning would actually work out and it went very well. We kind of exceeded expectations, I know it is Day One, things we need to work out and get better at, for the most part, things went as we anticipated and planned At this point, we can’t be happier.”
Kreischer spoke about the little ones and he said that they have the kids grouped in pods and the teachers were taking them outside so they could get a break with the masks and did the social distancing out there. He said that all the guidance says to get out as much as possible, we’ve been able to do that, while also getting the process of education underway. He said that keeping kids safe was No. 1 and he was confident that they were able to do that and then getting that, allows them to go forward with the education of kids, which is what they are here for. Tomorrow will be like a second opening day and that they will be just excited to see those kids.
Kreischer added, “Next week we’ll have other things, like the technology from home and see how that’s working It all works here under our domain, we just have to work out some kinks when we have everyone logging in at the same time.”
When asked if they would get together after these two days of students, Kreischer said, “Our principals will be meeting with their teachers with grade levels and content through Zoom meetings. We understand all the social distancing applies to us as well and we’ve been following that protocol when we are holding our meetings as well.”
The Scioto County Career and Technical Center (SCCTC) Superintendent Kyle Copley talked about their first day, “Today was the first day of face-to-face learning at the SCCTC under the new “COVID” world we live in. I feel our staff, students, parents and guardians handled the first day back with great composure and courage. Fifty percent of our junior students were scheduled to arrive today for the beginning of their hands-on training in their labs/programs.”
Superintendent Copley added, “Our faculty, staff, and administration all pitched in to make it a success for our students under the most stressful startup conditions we have ever experienced at the CTC. I feel our staff went above and beyond to ensure our students had a great day. We were able to dot all of our suspected “I’s” and cross all of our suspected “T’s” in a time of uncertainty and unknowing. There were a few times we had to adjust on the fly, and I know it wasn’t all perfect, but it rarely is. However, I am certain that our staff strived to make it the best experience for our students. Every student showed up wearing masks today except for a few, which we provided to them. Our SCCTC Post Secondary Practical Nursing students checked every student’s temperature when they arrived on our Main and North Campuses this morning.”
Copley continued, “Program identification signs were placed around the front inside perimeter of our Schulte, Taylor and T&I Buildings for students to line up with their respective program and instructor as they arrived on campus, much similar to what we have done for our completion ceremony each year. Program Instructors escorted their students to the labs and classrooms where they remained spaced 6 feet apart throughout the day and students were only permitted to remove their mask while eating breakfast and lunch. The cafeteria staff delivered hundreds of breakfast and lunches to each program location for students and staff. We assigned seats on our north campus bus with labels for each student on their seat, making travel safe and organized for the students. Our Counselors, assistant principals and Special Needs Coordinator, visited each lab throughout the day, conducting orientation and checking that everyone was wearing masks and following the procedures set in place. Our program instructors appeared to be prepared as always for their students while academic and support staff provided and offered a wide range of needed assistance. The maintenance, bus drivers, shipping and custodial staff, put their best foot forward to keep the campus clean and operational and went the extra mile to ensure sanitation was a priority. I would estimate we had upward of 80% or more of our expected junior population in attendance today. I feel that the first day back was a success and took everyone working together (staff, students, parents and guardians) to make it happen. Now only 177 more to go! “
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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