GCCS parents in charge of back to school decisons for students... for now

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 12:05 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 11:33 PM EDT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - The halls of Greater Clark County Schools were bum rushed with students excited to make their way back, while some dragged there feet wishing they had just one more day of summer vacation. It’s the first day of school, with changes and adjustments due to COVID.

Masks or no mask? In person or virtual? Those are the decisions parents will have to make for their children. One thing is certain, the first day of school is kicking off on a positive start.

The first day back was a tough decision for families like Joni Cox’s. We found Cox dropping her grandson off at Northaven Elementary School.

“He has an older brother who’s almost ten who has leukemia,” Cox said. “And the reason he’s {the older brother] not here in person today is because he recently got exposed to COVID.”

Her family decided to have grandson Nate repeat kindergarten after discussing with his teachers, go to school in person, wear a mask and show off his new back pack.

All choices that the district left up to parents. Cox said her choices are crucial because Nate needs an education, while coming back home safe.

“When he goes in he will make sure he changes his clothes so that when ever he sees his brother they can hug,” Cox said. “Because they are very close he calls him his bruder.”

In addition to making Nate change clothes at the door and getting sprayed down, the brothers also now sleep in separate rooms.

For Jeffersonville High School teacher Natalie Bronson the first day is a fresh start.

“There’s no expectations or pre-ideas that we already have for them or where they should be,” Bronson said. “We’re going to treat everybody as if it’s a brand new year and not hold anyone accountable for the learning losses last year.”

Some high school students said they wanted a longer summer vacation.

This year 650 freshman will walk the halls. It’s the schools’ largest class in over 25 years. Hundreds will also make their way in for the first time since last March said principal Pam Hall.

“We’re looking to welcome about 800 kids onto campus who were at home working in various types of schooling last year,” Hall said.

Most students in the hallways decided against masks. Cox said her grandson will keep his on at elementary school and because of vaccinations they her family feels safer

“I can hug him,” Cox said. “Last year I couldn’t even see my family my grand kids and this is exciting.”

The district is ready to be flexible. All of the rules and protocols in place right now all dependent on the rate of infection and the direction of the pandemic.

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