Freedom phases students back into school, full time

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Kindergarten teacher Gena Tokar’s classroom is ready for students to return safely.

Mikalah Smith, Staff Writer

Are students anxiously awaiting to head back to school full time? The time is coming to return to school. Many thought in-person school would start Aug. 27, but students ended up beginning the year all virtual. Some kids may thrive in the online setting, while others struggle with virtual learning. Freedom wanted to phase students in little by little, but due to unexpected gas line repairs on campus and not having plexiglass barriers to put on desks, the return dates were pushed back.

Kindergarten started Monday, Oct. 12, first and third grade phased back in on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and second and fourth graders went back on Oct. 14. By Oct. 15, the whole elementary school was in-person and on campus. Teachers were excited that they could fully meet their students face-to-face. Middle school went back Oct. 26, and finally, high school plans to be starting Nov. 9. Freedom plans to have all students back by Nov. 9. Students have three options for attending school, which include: all in-school, five days a week, Freedom’s cyber program, (online school)or  synchronous virtual instruction, which is if students do not want to go in, they can still meet with their teacher in their class. 

As students are heading back, rules must be followed, such as wearing a face mask or face shield. They are mandatory unless eating and students will still wear face coverings until lunch.. If not able to wear a mask due to medical reasons, students can attend school from home. Plexiglass will be up around desks to keep kids safe. 

If parents or guardians can not provide a ride for their students to and from school,, the bus is always an option. Rules will still be followed even on a school bus, which include only two riders per seat, face coverings that must be worn at all times, bus drivers must wear masks, buses load from back to front and unload from front to back and buses must be disinfected after each trip. Prior to arriving at school, all parents and guardians must fill out the online health contract, which will be distributed around as students come back to school. This will be the way the teacher can decide if the student can come to school that day. 

If a student is showing symptoms, they must not come back to school, until testing negative for COVID-19 or 10 days of quarantine. Also, if no fever is present in the past 24 hours, the student will be permitted to return. If a sibling shows symptoms, the other children in the house should not be sent back until they are tested negative.

Although this can all change, many hope to be back in school. We are all in this together as we head back to school. Remember to wear a face mask.