The persistent rain early in the week couldn’t put a damper on the excitement around Nooksack Valley Schools as students in kindergarten through fifth grade return to in-person learning at the district’s three elementary buildings.
“We are so proud of our staff, students and community for following the health and safety guidelines and allowing for this learning opportunity,” says Megan Vigre, Sumas Elementary principal.
Across the buildings, students are following the “three Ws” of wearing a mask, washing their hands and watching their distance while also embracing the “three Rs” of focusing on relationships, routines and resilience, says Katie Brown, Nooksack Elementary principal.
The students returned to the school buildings starting on Tuesday, Oct. 12, in a hybrid format, with A and B groups alternating days in the buildings to keep physical distancing a possibility. There is still a contingent of students who are learning through the NV @ Home model, part of the flexibility the district is offering families.
For those who did return to in-person learning, Vigre says students and parents were patient with new routines, even in the rain. Teachers reported being impressed with students’ ability to pick up the new protocol and that most were able to wear their mask properly all day, but still connect with them and share smiles and laughter.
“It feels so good to be with our students again,” a Sumas teacher says, “they had great attitudes.”
Parents reported seeing their students excited to go back to school again and again to be around friends. “We are so grateful for all the tireless work to make this happen,” one parent at Nooksack Elementary said.
Staff at Nooksack Elementary were energized by the patience students showed each other and their ability to adjust to changes and learn new routines. “I was amazed at how well students took to keeping masks on, using designated restrooms, sanitizing and maintaining distance,” says a teacher. “They are so happy to be back.”