For those who keep track of these things, last year's #FDOS (First Day of School) was rainy. Really rainy. So today's cool temps and sunshine created the perfect backdrop as we welcomed students to #FDOS2020.
- Masks? Not nearly as big a deal for students as for many adults.
- Bus and car rider traffic? Well, yes, there's traffic. It always takes a few days for everyone to get the timing figured out, and we have some new routines and traffic patterns to get used to. This includes bus routes that are delayed. It will all settle into a normal flow in a few days, but every day gets better, so please be patient!
- Remote learners? We've added some resources to each school's website to help you navigate that process. You may not have to worry about car rider traffic, but we understand that online traffic is another story, and hopefully these resources will help.
- Excitement. Students were very happy to be back in school, and their teachers were equally happy to see them.
- Routine. What happened in classrooms throughout Plainfield today will quickly become routine, and most children thrive on that. Today there was a lot of time spent practicing new habits and procedures, and just getting to know one another. Over the next few days, these procedures will become second-hand, and routines will be established.
- Nurturing. Your Plainfield Schools staff worried about how students would react to not being able to see their teachers' faces. How would teachers welcome students when they couldn't high five or return the hugs that come so frequently at the younger levels. With a lot of creativity and huge hearts for children, the nurturing has begun (with social distancing) and will continue. We fully understand the need to focus on hearts as well as brains right now, and we're committed to doing so.
- Social distancing. Did every student maintain a six foot perimeter all day? Probably not. Did our principals find ways to create new space for lunches, for classrooms and even in hallways? Absolutely.
We hope your children bring home joy-filled stories this evening, and that they awaken tomorrow eager to return. We remind you of the importance of completing the daily health assessment and keeping home students who exhibit any of the symptoms related to COVID-19. Our goal is to keep our classrooms open and humming as long as possible, although we're realistic enough to understand that we could have to close classrooms, grade levels or even a school at some point.
It's unfortunate that so many of today's stories are COVID-related, because there are some other exciting headlines to share. For example, our students in grades 6-8 walked into a wonderful new space at PCMS. While the construction is far from complete, the progress is already significant. Another example of the many ways we preserve and care for our schools, taking a building that opened in 1958 and modernizing it for 2020.
The #FDOS is always a big day, for students and their families, and for everyone who works in education. Today was no different, and we couldn't be happier with #FDOS2020.