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SPS welcomes students back to buildings

It was all smiles Thursday morning as more than 900 kindergarteners and first-grade students across Springfield Public Schools made their way back into schools for the first time since September. 

Although their smiles were masked, students could barely contain their excitement as they ran up to the school to greet their teachers and fellow classmates, remembering at the last minute to give space to others around them. 

“Mr. Mcgraw!” one student shouted as he sprinted up to Mark McGraw, a kindergarten teacher at Two Rivers-Dos Rios. “I brought a brownie in my lunch!”

students come back to TRDR

Mask fashion ranged from sparkly to flame-themed to rainbow stripes and everything in between. Students filed into schools following arrows on the ground, holding out their arms to provide adequate space between themselves and their fellow classmates. Teachers and educational assistants led students to their desks, spaced at least six feet apart from one another in the classroom. 

kids return to TRDR

Students weren’t the only ones who were excited. Parents, teachers and building staff we also elated to have children back in the building. 

“I’m really excited to see the kids,” kindergarten teacher Sierra Cochrane said Thursday before students arrived. “It’s been so long, and they remember at the very beginning of the year when we were in person for a few days, so they’ve been eager to come back.”

kids walking in halls

Cochrane said one student was counting down the days until they would be at school. 

“One of the students on Tuesday said ‘two more sleeps Ms. Cochrane!’ which was adorable.”

Mike Mcgraw said he too was eager for the students’ return. 

“I’m ready to have them back in class,” Mcgraw said. “Kindergarteners learning mostly online was tough, and I think some of them really needed to be back in the classroom. It’ll be an adjustment getting back to routines, but I know they can do it.”

Two Rivers-Dos Ríos Principal Charlie Jett said that staff had been preparing for this day for weeks and that the school was as safe and ready for students as possible. 

“We’re rockin’!” Jett said walkig down the hallway of Two Rivers-Dos Ríos. “This is what it’s all about, this is the energy we need.”

Jett said that students recognize the importance of keeping distance, washing their hands and wearing masks and that they’re happy to abide by the rules if it means seeing their friends and teachers. 

“I think students recognize that it’s a privilege to learn together, in person, and they understand the expectations for staying safe."

TRDR principal charlie Jett


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