With masks on (and plenty of smiles lifting the faces underneath them), MNPS students started returning to elementary schools across Nashville and Davidson County on Tuesday morning.
Approximately 12,000 students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade and second grade were expected to arrive at their schools for in-person learning for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close in March.
Principals, teachers and other staff members greeted students warmly and directed them to their classrooms, walking down hallways marked by directional arrows, dividing lines and signs indicating where they could stand and keep a safe distance while waiting.
When they got to their classrooms, students took off their coats, put their backpacks in cubbyholes, and moved to chairs and tables that allowed for as much social distancing as possible.
“We made it,” Gower Elementary School Principal Barbara Frazier said when the morning rush was over and everyone was in the right place at the Bellevue school. “Everybody’s jumping in and trying to make it happen.”
“We are excited, because we have not seen our babies at all since last year, and we’ve got a new group this year,” said Deeanne Miree, principal of Cambridge Early Learning Center in Antioch. “This is going to be an amazing year. Our parents were happy this morning when they dropped the children off. We saw lots of smiling faces.”
MNPS gave every student the option of returning to in-person learning or continuing in the virtual learning environment. Assuming Nashville continues to contain the spread of COVID-19, the rest of the schedule for students to return to their buildings is:
- 3rd and 4th grades – Tuesday, October 20
- 5th and 6th grades – Tuesday, October 27
- 7th and 8th grades – Wednesday, November 4
- 9th through 12th grades – Thursday, January 7 (start of the second semester)