SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – On Thursday, Springfield Public Schools welcomed back kindergarten through first grade students on a staggered schedule for hybrid learning.
At Guy Lee Elementary, staff said the morning drop-off went well, where students are sorted into cohorts and placed into classrooms with social distancing and masks. An estimated 400 students were expected to return to Springfield schools on Thursday.
Kari Galloway-Marion was one of the parents dropping off her first-grader.
“I think that he really needs to be able to do this for his ability to make friends and he learns better in a classroom and even to get away from mom for a little bit and learn from another adult. This is going to be really good for him,” Galloway-Marion said.
Many other parents agreed, saying that online learning has been difficult for their children.
“I feel like he’s actually going to get an education now,” said Cameron Walker, whose son returned for kindergarten. “I’m really excited that he’s going to be in school and get to know the actual structure of school. Not only that, but the actual interaction with a teacher and students.”
Kristen Noor is an instructional coach at Guy Lee. Noor said she was pleased with how the morning drop-off went, where students must social distance before receiving a health screening and hand sanitizer.
“So many different teams and different people have been involved to make sure that we could make this happen,” Noor said.
Noor said staff members even rehearsed the drop-off procedures on Wednesday to make sure there were no hiccups.
Next Monday, second-grade students will return and third-graders will return later that same week. Students in grades four through 12 will be incrementally phased in to hybrid learning.