As the new academic year approaches, schools are making changes in order to make buildings safe for students. But there are still several questions raised about how health and safety guidelines will be enforced, especially for younger students.
Staff at Richland Elementary School are preparing to welcome students back to into the building come Fall. One way is by offering students the opportunity to visit the Richland Elementary School Library to get their hands on new reading material for the summer.
Principal, Gregg Wilson says welcoming students back to the building in small steps like this is one of the ways they’re preparing for the First Day of School.
“The anxiety that students might be feeling coming in here and having not been here for a long time,” said Wilson. “When you’re five and six years old, four to five months seems like a really long time and so having hem come in here and try and ease their anxiety and have them feel more comfortable and have them remember that this is a place that they have had some good times and it is a happy place and somewhere that they are looking forward to returning to,” he added.
Several changes will be made to classrooms and the way lessons are taught. One major change will be students and staff having to wear masks anytime they are in a situation where they cannot social distance.
“We’re going to try and do some other things inside the classroom to try and create space and we’ll probably be rearranging the desks to try and create more space then we normally would,” said Wilson.
But parents have raised some concerns about these changes. Mother of three elementary aged boys, Stacey Vickroy still has some reservations.
“Even though I know it’s a safety precaution would be, long term mask wearing. I would love to see some kind of hybrid schedule available for the children that are coming back to school,” said Vickroy.
With the first day of the new school year only about six weeks away, parents are happy the school is finding a way to get students ready to go back to in-person learning.
“I love that they are taking precautions that are necessary. That to have the kids come back and pick books and see friendly faces I think that is the dose of normalcy that we all so desperately need,” said Vickroy.