Joplin High School back in classes


JOPLIN, Mo. — First, Spring break turned into a wellness break that lasted more than two months.

Then Summer break focused on staying at home and wearing a mask.

But finally Joplin students are back in school.

Joplin student Donovan Smith says it’s a learning curve just walking in to school.

Donovan Smith, JHS Jr, said, “I remember having to stop – oh yeah, I have to put on my mask.”

He’s still getting used to the new schedule, half in class, half online, but says he’s ready to be back on campus.

“It’s nice to get some structure back in life.”

That’s the “A” day, “B” day schedule. But it’s not completely straightforward.

Stephen Gilbreth, JHS Principal said, “A,B,C,D, AND E. And that is students here on an A day, students here B day. Students who are here A day with Franklin Tech; students who are here B day with Franklin Tech.”

Once on campus, there’s a temperature check.

And for the first day, teachers are also checking where students are academically – after a five month break.

“We have some tools, the NWEA test and a couple of other things teachers will use to gauge where are our kids right now.”

The school district has a detailed plan, including social distancing, using plexiglass dividers, and frequent sanitizing – both hands and frequently touched surfaces.

Stephen Gilbreth, JHS Principal: “This is my 24th year in education – I think this is the strangest thing that I’ve lived through.”

And they’ll do it all over again tomorrow – with the B day students.

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