News

Planning pays off with smooth first day in Washington

Eighth-graders exit Washington Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the end of their second day of school. Students are required to wear masks in the building and each grade has a designated exit to use. (Gretchen Teske/The Union)
Eighth-graders exit Washington Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the end of their second day of school. Students are required to wear masks in the building and each grade has a designated exit to use. (Gretchen Teske/The Union)
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WASHINGTON — Months of planning paid off and students in the Washington Community School District had a successful first day back, according to Superintendent Willie Stone.

Stone said a few minor hiccups were identified, specifically with students not remembering what bus to get on and one incident with low water pressure at Lincoln Elementary, but both problems were addressed quickly, he said.

Both students and teachers did a great job of making the day go as smoothly and close to normal as possible despite the circumstances, he said.

“A lot of that I attest to our staff preparing before our kids being here. The energy and excitement they had when the kids came back was great,” he said.

The school year was different from normal this year as students were required to wear masks, and everyone under high school age was in a cohort group, meaning they stuck with the same students all day to narrow the chances of spreading disease.

High school students are not in cohort groups because they have options to take many different electives and this formula will not work.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, Stone said the biggest change will be trying to ensure students are on the correct bus and get home safely. That’s a problem that will work itself out, he said, but if any other changes arise the school board gave administration the go-ahead to make immediate changes for the benefit of the health and safety of students if needed.

Overall, the 2020 school year is going to be unique, he said, but with school and community working together, it will go as smoothly as it can.

“Thank you to our students and parents for their patience and understanding of the situation. The 2020-2021 school year is going to be unique, but we will all make it uniquely amazing for our students,” he said.