Photos by Jory Westberry | Miss Macy’s fifth graders unpack their supplies and prepare to start their day.
After 6 months away from their education due to COVID-19, most students, parents and guardians greeted today with a mixture of trepidation, excitement, worry and optimism that some normalcy was coming back. What I observed today was a well-organized process, procedures in place and the entire staff taking responsibility for the safety of the students of Tommie Barfield Elementary and each other. From Dan Dupuis the Facility Manager, to Mary Beth Schneller the Media Specialist, to Nancy Sheathe Office Manager, the rest of the front office staff, teachers, school counselor, assistants, custodians and more. Safe–distancing decals were in place on the floors, water fountains were wrapped in plastic and off–limits, several colors of painting tape lined the hallway floors, partly to establish safe lines to classes and partly for color-coding to sections of the building for different grade levels; especially for the first day back in school after a long hiatus. The opening was orderly with safety foremost on everyone’s mind.
While Marco Island does not require masks, the parents with children were masked and taking precautions for the safety of all. Fingers crossed that the same focus continues as the COVID-19 Pandemic unfolds.
“Search with your eyes, then choose your book” is a procedure to limit the chance of infection.
A familiar procedure that doesn’t change the Pledge to the Flag.
Office Manager Nancy Shea helps direct students to their new teachers’ classrooms.
Students wait patiently for assistance on the other side of plexiglass in the front office.
Social distancing in the hallways.
Reading Specialist Molly Skudnig greets car riders and cheerfully guides them to the front door of the school.
Deborah Lambert picks up the green CCPS lanyards for her students so they can clip them to their masks and keep track of them.
Principal Katie Maya directs a student to his classroom and watches to assure that he arrives safely.
Parents observe the signage and stay back to allow their children to proceed down the sidewalk and into the building under the supervision of staff members.
This 3-year-old was all dressed up and wanted to go to school. Alas, he’ll have to wait a couple of years.
For safety sakes.
Fifth-grade teacher Mabel Pena takes her students out in the hallway to review the procedures about safe social distancing.