Joplin schools using experience during pandemic to help students return for second semester

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JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s just about time to go back to school at school – something that wasn’t a guarantee this year.

Chris Bozarth, Joplin Elem. Principal, said, “A lot of excitement.”

Cecil Floyd Elementary School is quiet now – but that’s about to change. Joplin students go back to class, a return during the pandemic that isn’t quite as daunting as last August.

“Most of the times we said this is unprecedented, this is all new, we don’t know – now we know that we’ve got some, um a little bit of experience behind us.”

Part of that experience is sticking with in person instruction.

Sarah Mwangi, Joplin Schools Asst. Superintendent, said, said, “We were able to keep all of our campuses open first semester and that is definitely our goal second semester um we had quarantines and isolations spread out across the district – there wasn’t a single place that we pinpointed.”

But that doesn’t mean that’s not a concern going into the new semester.

“We watch those numbers every single day and try to get a good idea that if there is a hot spot we can get in and help support that school as best as possible.”

She adds keeping kids in class wouldn’t be possible without the heightened cleaning schedule maintained by staff, the cooperation of students to wear masks, sanitize and social distance as well as teachers going the extra mile to tackle pandemic challenges. Not to mention the multiple backup plans, if needed.

“Our teachers and administration have spent countless hours preparing for all sorts of scenarios.”

Joplin students go back to class on Tuesday.

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