School starts as good as we could hope

Published 8:34 pm Monday, August 17, 2020

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On the surface it was different. Masks were worn, sanitizer was used and social distancing was practiced.

But underneath the layers of protection, the 2020-2021 school year began as close to normal as we could have hoped for when Shelby County students entered schools for the first time since the previous school year was canceled back on March 13.

As parents watched their children get on busses or saw them spring open the car door in the car-rider line to head into their first day of the new school year on Aug. 13, smiles and tears were shared for the big moment.

Moms still cried, siblings thought they weren’t going to see each other again and teachers were full of joy to see all of their blessings entering the classroom for the first time this year.

A decision many haven’t been able to wrap their minds around the last few months due to the threat of COVID-19, letting worry settle in, the actual start seemed to put a lot of ease on the minds of administrators, parents and teachers, while students were just glad to be back in as normal of an environment as we can get.

We don’t know how long it will last or if COVID will become a major problem in local schools, but to get to this point is truly tremendous.

Parents have taken extra precaution and administrators and teachers have been working furiously for hours each day to prepare for the unknown of what was to come.

All of it was to do the best they could to make sure their students weren’t just in a safe environment, but in one that gave them a sense of normality back after the devastating spring and summer we have experienced both locally and across the globe.

The months leading up to the start of school were confusing for all involved, but after procedures were laid out and students chose virtual or in-person options, they began meeting teachers and becoming more comfortable.

As parents waved goodbye to their children this morning or fired up their computers for virtual learning, teachers and administrators greeted them with smiles so clear they could be seen through masks.

Maybe, just maybe, that glimmer of positivity means we are nearing the other side of what has been a long and continuous battle.