Desks throughout the North Bellmore School District had new clear plastic barriers, but they also had students for the first time since mid-March after the five elementary schools opened on Sept. 9.
While the 2020-21 school year began during the COVID-19 pandemic, the district created a thorough reopening plan to ensure that students and staff could return to a healthy and safe learning environment. At the entrances to each school, teachers showed students how to use touchless thermometers that took their temperature by holding up their wrists.
After students were settled in their classrooms, Saw Mill Road Principal Jeff Rosof addressed the school over the public address system for some welcoming remarks, the Pledge of Allegiance and a few announcements.
“It’s going to be different, but we know it’s still going to be a great school year,” he said. “We know there are smiles underneath those masks.”
In AnnMarie Gilroy’s class, her sixth graders spoke excitedly about being reunited after nearly six months of remote instruction and summer break. Many of them have set goals for the year, both in terms of academics and personal growth. Alyssia Bedessi summed up the feelings of her class, which is ready to embrace the changes and determined “to try to make the best of the year.”
The district is also offering an alternate virtual learning model for students, with online classes taught by certified North Bellmore teachers and following the same curriculum as in-person instruction.