It’s the first day of school for many students in the area.
At the new Jasper Elementary School, today was the first day of school for both students and for the building.
During any other year, this would have been a big event for the community at large, but as we have come to find out, 2020 has not proven kind.
The COVID-19 pandemic has some students, parents, and school faculty nervous about being back to school.
Teaching Assistant at Jasper Elementary School Mariah Hundlee says while she’s not nervous about being back at school herself, she says leading up to this opening day can only be described with one word.
“It’s been chaotic. I think that’s probably the best word to use; it’s been very chaotic. Everyone’s kind of running around trying to figure out what’s going on at the moment. We were all here yesterday for the meeting and getting kind of worked up seeing where everything was going to go today. I think once we get today figured out, we will kind of have an idea for the rest of the year.”
Hundlee says that finally being able to open the doors for Jasper Elementary School has been a weight off a lot of people’s shoulders.
“There’s a lot of staff that we had jumping from Tenth Street to Fifth Street so this year with everyone being in the same building I think it’ll make everything a lot smoother.”
Schools in the area have also offered virtual learning for those who feel more comfortable staying home.
Despite the concern, Indiana’s State School Superintendent Jennifer McCormick says that she thinks schools can reopen safely. She says it’s best for medical experts to determine if, when, or how schools should reopen. She says the state Department of Education is leaving it up to health officials to set thresholds for coronavirus positivity rates that would require a school to close.