By Sabrina Kedzie
Sept. 4, 2020
It’s been quite some time before the kids have been to school and mom and dad are not playing teacher. Well this week that all changed! Back to school everyone goes, if you choose so of course! I reached out to some local parents and children at different schools in the county to see just what they’re feeling and thinking! They shared lots of information and feelings about the new school year since COVID-19.
Breena Greek has a daughter Janaiya Farmer that goes to Gulf Coast Academy and this is her first year there! Breena shared with me that she is “very happy to have the kids back in school, it’ll be good for them to get their minds back in motion!” Gulf Coast Academy is taking quite a bit of precautions when it comes to keeping students and staff safe. Breena stated that the school has canceled all public activities, has issued masks daily, and all online homework submission to reduce the chance of cross contamination. She and her daughter are both happy with the precautions. When asked if they preferred in school or virtual learning they both chose in school!
“Our school is doing a hybrid learning method, which aligns all the curriculum in a level that is flexible enough to be in person or virtually, this is helpful in case things change, or you chose to pull them out,” Breena shared. Breena also expressed “I’m super excited for my daughter to gain some confidence in herself again, these last 6 months she’s been on hold, I can’t wait to see what this year brings for her.”
Janaiya expressed, “ I was nervous for my first day, but excited to be back.” Mom shared she had a huge smile on her face this morning. Janaiya can’t wait to see what this school year brings and to make new friends as a sixth grader that just moved to the area.
Another family shared their thoughts about going back to school. Jennifer Kupres has two daughters in two different high schools. Kayla Kupres is a senior and Natalie Kupres is a freshman. They attend Nature Coast and Central High Schools. Jennifer shared with me “that despite the uncertainty, I believe it’s best that the children are back to school, they need the structure.”
She is also very pleased with the school board’s actions they have taken to create a safe learning environment. The schools have created smaller environments with safe social distancing, screenings, and following the CDC guidelines.
When asked if they all liked virtual or in school they shared that they preferred in school learning, Jennifer shared that “it is important that the children are engaged with the in school education, social activities, and interaction with others. This is so critical, their learning and development depend on it.”
“Going back to school is a big adjustment, but I’m so grateful to be back, ” Natalie Kupres shared.
They all expressed how this is going to be an adjustment, being home has been like isolation.
“My children have said and shared many times how happy they are to go back to school to be with their friends and to see their teachers. They said it will also be so weird though, it’s been so long,” Jennifer remarked.
“It is for sure an adjustment being back in school, but in my opinion it’s better,” Kayla stated.
They are all hoping that the schools will be able to limit the amount of spectators per child to be able to attend sport games and events that will still allow proper social distancing.
Kayla Kupres said, “I prefer in person learning because I prefer actually seeing the teacher and being around other students can make learning more fun and interesting.”
Kayla is looking forward to pep rallies and football games her senior year! Natalie is most excited to be a freshman, sports, and all the new school events as a high schooler.
The schools have done an amazing job at making sure all staff and students are safe. Hoping everyone has a safe and wonderful school year!