It has been a long time since traditional, in-person learning took place at public schools in New York. In less than two weeks that changes – as students, faculty, and staff head back to the classroom for a return to in-person learning at a different point in the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was really hard to be able to make sure we were getting those connections with them,” explained Theresa Eckler. She’s a fourth grade teacher at Rensselaer Park Elementary School. “It was a very long year. Lots of changes and having to really get creative on what we were doing with students.”
Now, it’s all about the excitement of getting back to the classroom. “I’m so excited just to have them in person and be able to feel their energy,” she explained. “Get back to kind of life as normal.”
But students will be masked, and many families are struggling with returning to in person learning as vaccines are not yet approved for students under 12. Many districts across the state are also implementing social distancing measures to keep students safe.
The long-term questions involve quarantine, future vaccination requirements, and how academic progress will be gauged after more than a year of remote learning in many districts.
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