ALEXANDRIA, VA—For students across the nation, schools are opening their doors. On the morning of August 9, Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School opened its doors to masked-students and teachers eager to reunite.
Busloads of children stepped onto the sidewalk, one at a time, and through the doors of the school, as news crews, cameras, teachers, and the Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. welcomed and waved them inside.
“I’m so excited to have you back,” exclaimed Dr. Hutchings to students as they exited the school bus.
The excitement was reciprocated by students who returned the waves with smiles and thumbs-up.
With almost 2 years to prepare for the return of in-person classes, schools have used that time to implement new plans, protocols, and equipment.
Now with mask mandates, air circulation and purification, staff able to vaccinate if they so choose, and social-distancing practices, Samuel W. Tucker Elementary is as ready is it will ever be to tackle the school year.
Of course a plan is only as good as its execution, and of course there are concerns amongst many parents, students, and teachers themselves upon returning to school, but with almost two years of pandemic life under the belt, Dr. Hutchings and fellow ACPS affiliates are confident about heading into the new school year.
When addressed about the reality of actually keeping masks on students throughout the day, Dr. Hutchings responded, “Kids are resilient. We make it part of their routine, we work with the parents. We are ready.”
With a little uncertainty and a lot of hope, Alexandria enters a new chapter for its students. Only time will tell the tale of success, but one thing is certain: today was a promising start to that story.