Adapting to the Pandemic:
Students back at CTS
For nearly a year, we had been waiting and planning for March 1st, 2021: the first day students returned to CTS since all Oregon schools were closed on March 13th a year ago. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and, as I have every first day of school since we moved to our permanent home in 2008, I stood at the front entrance watching, eager and a bit anxious, as the first of three buses arrived and the first group of students spilled out. Many, who attended CTS last year before we closed, were smiling and eager. Some who have been enrolled in our remote program but hadn’t been to the school before, were shy and tentative. And one 4-year-old attending Pre-K for the first time, burst into tears when she got off the bus and had to be consoled by her older sister.
In keeping with the governor’s guidelines, we’d spent weeks preparing for this day while maintaining our remote-learning program (twice-daily delivery and collection of school work along with the delivery of breakfast and lunch to our students wherever they lived). Now, at last, it had arrived, and we were ready.
Everyone on the staff, including bus drivers and support staff, has received two doses of a COVID vaccine. All desks in all classrooms have been positioned 6 feet apart. And at all times, staff, visitors, and students 5 years and older are required to wear masks in the building, on the buses, and on the playground. It’s not the way it used to be, or the way we hope it will be when this school year started, but at least our students are back in school and that’s what counts. This September, we began full-day sessions (8:30am to 3:00pm).