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Madison County teachers prepare for return to in-person learning

Published: Aug. 8, 2021 at 10:29 PM CDT
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MADISON, Miss. (WLBT) - Students in Madison County are gearing up to go back to school this week.

As the Delta variant becomes more of a threat across the state, teachers not only have the responsibility to keep the kids safe - but also themselves.

“Going back to school is always a super exciting time. We have been here getting our amazing, new building ready,” said teacher Emily Lann.

The teachers with Madison County schools are preparing to kick off the upcoming school year with in-person classes.

“Regardless of a pandemic, we’re just excited to get our kids back in here, start building relationships with them, and just see how far they can grow this year,” said Lann.

Over at Ann Smith Elementary in Ridgeland, excitement is building to see all of their students face to face again after more than a year-and-a-half of doing things differently because of the pandemic.

“My year was cut short because of the pandemic. Last year was different because of the social distancing and the masks, and stuff like that. Everything was a little different with interactions with kids and just the way we did things,” said teacher Meghan Wilbanks.

This Meghan Wilbanks’ third year teaching. She says although there are still safety precautions in place, it will feel good to get back to some normalcy at school.

“I am kind of excited this year, that getting back to a little more normal. We are kind of getting back to normal. We still have the face masks to keep people safe, but we could eat in the cafeteria, and we just had a lot of different things to get back to somewhat normal and still being safe.”

“Just been like an experience that I just really can’t even explain,” said teacher Georgia Sims. As Sims cleans her classroom, she also thinks about how to keep the students safe as well as ways to protect herself.

“With the uncertainties of knowing, not knowing if you have an outbreak in your classroom, and just constantly trying to clean behind students and wipe tables down, just trying to make sure that our classroom is a safe place for students and making sure that we go above and beyond to keep everyone safe, and the families knowing that when they send them to Ann Smith Elementary that they’re in good hands.”

For more than 20 years parents have left kids in hands of Sims. So, when many students were home learning virtually- it was tough.

That’s why Sims and these teachers are so eager to get back in the classroom.

WLBT also reached out to The Madison County School District to find out about its mask requirement this year.

“We are starting back with all of our campuses on what we are calling a level two Covid Protocol. So, under that protocol masks will be strongly encouraged, but optional as long as people can stay socially distanced at three feet apart. Once you get closer than three feet, everybody’s going to need to mask up,” said Gene Wright, Director of Communications.

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