Patrick students ‘excited’ to return to classrooms

By Debbie Hall

School buses took to the roads in Patrick Monday as students enrolled in the hybrid instructional plan returned to area classrooms.

“We had a great first day,” Jason Wood, director of operations in the Patrick County School division, said Monday afternoon.

Classrooms had been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon reopening, personnel at each school must perform temperature checks and screenings of those entering the building.

On Monday, “COVID-19 related issues were not apparent,” Wood said.

He added that “there were some bus pickup times we will have to work through,” be he noted that is usual on the first day of a new school year.

Some parents ended up transporting their child or children to school and school personnel helped as well, he said, adding “it happens every year.”

With the dismissal of the first day of school only minutes away, buses begin lining up at Stuart Elementary School.

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Andrea Cassell said 35 percent of students enrolled in Patrick schools decided to continue as virtual only instruction. Sixty-five percent opted to participate in the hybrid plan, with one group attending schools on Mondays and Tuesdays and another group heading to the classroom on Thursdays and Fridays. Participating students attend virtual classes on the days they are not in class.

“We will have our second first day with the second group of students on Thursday,” Wood said, adding that school officials visited six of the seven schools Monday.

“It was good to see our students and our students are excited to be back,” Wood said. “One child today in a kindergarten group threw up both hands and said, ‘This is awesome.’”






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