Home News Local News RISD students return to schools for first day of hybrid classes

RISD students return to schools for first day of hybrid classes

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Students stay socially distanced as they get off a bus Thursday morning at Berrendo Elementary School. Thursday was the first day of in-person learning in the hybrid model for Roswell Independent School District. (Juno Ogle Photo)

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The first day of hybrid learning for elementary students in the Roswell Independent School District was a “good dry run” for next week when all grade levels return to classrooms, Superintendent Mike Gottlieb said.

“It went very well today. We were very happy with the progress,” Gottleib said Thursday afternoon.

About half the students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade returned to classrooms for the first time in nearly a full year, as the B group — generally students whose last names start with the letters M through Z — rode the bus or were dropped off by parents at their schools. That group will return to school Friday.

Students in the A group were in remote learning Thursday and Friday. Their first day of hybrid learning was to be Tuesday, but Monday’s cold temperatures caused diesel fuel in the buses to gel and in-person classes were canceled for Tuesday.

Sixth- and ninth-grade students in the A group also attended in-person classes Thursday as an orientation to buildings new to them. The B group of those grades are in the buildings Friday. They will follow the regular hybrid A-B schedule next week.

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Gottlieb said Thursday morning’s cold temperatures and light snow caused some concern about the buses being able to start, but none had any problems.

“At 5:30 (a.m.) when they start all the buses, it was very cold,” he said.

The temperature at that time was 23 degrees, according to the National Weather Service reports at the Roswell Air Center.

At Berrendo Elementary School, students started arriving by bus or car at about 7:30 a.m. and were allowed to go into the gym until classes started. Dots on the floor — a different color for each grade — marked safe social distances. An exercise video was projected on a screen with a teacher encouraging the students to follow along.

Gottlieb, who visited each school Thursday, said the students had no problems following the Public Education Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. That includes wearing masks, staying socially distant and washing hands often.

“They understood real well. Didn’t have a bit of problem with any of the requirements that we have to do. I think the kids were excited to be back, and the staff were extremely excited to be back and have the kids back,” he said.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.