Super staff at Rockingham County Public Schools welcome back students

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 2:15 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — On Thursday, students in Rockingham County Public Schools returned to class for the first time in months, and teachers were excited to welcome their students back to the classroom.

Although the school year looks different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, grades 2-12 went to class virtually and grades pre-k through 1st were able to go physically to school.

“It’s the first day of school and we’ve invited our Pre-K, Kindergartners, and First Grade Students back to school today and we decided to greet them as superheroes because who doesn’t love a superhero,” Barbara Palmer, principal of Elkton Elementary School said.

Teachers and staff at Elkton Elementary stood outside the school wearing superhero costumes to show students that it’s okay to wear a mask like Spiderman or Batman.

A majority of students were dropped off by their parents, where a staff member would direct them on which classroom to go to. Elkton Elementary still had three buses come in their bus route to bring students to school.

“Well tears came to my eyes as those kids were coming in on the buses it’s just so great to see them," Palmer said. "We’ve missed them so much so we are happy to have them back.”

Palmer said in a normal school year her school will be filled with 300 students, but on Tuesday only 70 were physically in the classroom.

“Right now there’s about eight or nine per room and the kindergartners have been divided," Palmer said. "So each teacher has two rooms, we have a full-time assistant supporting the teacher so those children are socially distanced within their room.”

Palmer went to visit each classroom in the morning while students were eating breakfast. She handed out masks for students to decorate and to have just in case they lose theirs one day.

She said while it’s a great feeling to have some students back in school, she’s looking forward to the day where everyone can return.

“We’ve been preparing for the last three weeks for these kids, we have a small fraction here today but we’re hoping to have the rest back soon,” Palmer said.

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