Keeping Schools Safe: Greeneville City Schools reopen with hybrid learning in Pre-K and kindergarten

Keeping Schools Safe

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Area school systems continue the task of transitioning students back into classrooms.

Schools are trying to balance preventing the spread of the virus and bringing students back into school buildings.

News Channel 11’s Pheben Kassahun spoke with Greeneville City Schools leaders to find out how they are working through this new era of learning.

The district has been meeting with parents to bring back its young learners and students with high needs. Pre-K and kindergarten at Eastview Elementary School began a hybrid in-person learning schedule, this week.

“I like being back at school,” Eastview Elementary School kindergartner Xander said.

“There’s new energy having kids back,” Principal Kelly Ford said.

Greeneville City Schools educators are coming to the front lines of the pandemic to teach in-person learning.

“Half of the group attends school in person on Monday and Tuesday and the other half attend in-person on Wednesday and Thursday. When students are not in-person at the school, they are able to work synchronically with their teacher in the afternoon,” Ford said.

Teachers use Canvas, Zoom and Facebook Live as forms of communication and teaching.

“Even in person. That way when they go home, the kids learn how to do an operate Canvas in school just like they would at home,” Eastview kindergarten teacher Rachel Millhorn said.

Millhorn has spaced out her kindergartners to promote physical distancing.

“We have tools that our students use that are inidividually theirs. We don’t share supplies anymore like we usually do,” Millhorn said.

On Fridays, both A and B groups learn remotely, while the school buildings are cleaned extensively. Principal Ford said sanitation takes first priority.

Ford said, “Every classroom in the building is cleaned at night on a level four, but every teacher has a cleaning kit and has been trained on what needs to be cleaned, with which supplies. Students also have hand-washing schedules for sanitization.”

Following CDC guidelines, masks are highly encouraged for students but a mandate for teachers and staff.

“We will have masks breaks, especially during recess. We also have some outside WiFi points where we can do outdoor classrooms and space students outside so that they can work and take a few mask breaks as needed,” Ford said.

A/B grouping model will go through September 14th.

As for upper grade levels, students are still learning remotely until further notice.

Eastview Elementary School fifth grade teacher Christie Carter said, “We have wonderful boys and girls and we have amazing, supportive parents. It has been a struggle.//But we have a support system in our technology center at central office that has caught these glitches, that has caught any issues that we have had.”

Carter misses her students but understands the caution.

“It’s a little bittersweet. I am a hugger. I love to see my children, I love to interact with my children. I love to get to know the students, so it’s hard to do that through a screen,” Carter said.

First through 12th grade, school administrators are monitoring cases before bringing them in for in-person learning. a two week notice will be given to students and parents.

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