This week was the first day of school at Oak Lawn-Hometown District 123 and while things may look a bit different, the excitement of the first day never changes.
“The first day was great! It was so wonderful to be back in the classroom with the kids in front of me. I missed seeing their faces. Even though they had masks on, you know they were smiling,” said First Grade Teacher at Hometown, Brenda Sweetser.
Through diligent planning and open communication, the District administration ensured that safety protocols were in place so in-person instruction would be safe for students and staff. Temperature checks were done before students boarded busses or entered buildings, students kept at 6 feet apart using visual aides throughout the school, and everyone was required to wear a mask. Classrooms are stocked with additional PPE kits containing cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, extra masks, and gloves.
“I felt well prepared to implement the new safety protocols, the more we actually do them, the better we will become, it will become part of our routine. The little kindergarten students were champs with their masks, there are some really cute styles out there! Anyone that knows me, I am a hugger. Oh, goodness! This is just killing me! But, hey, when you have to whip out creative dance moves, and non-touchy greetings like what we call, “Slap Happy Knees”, this will have to suffice,” said Kindergarten Teacher at Hannum, Vicki Conner.
For the first 12 weeks of instruction, District 123 offered parents the choice between full remote instruction and a hybrid model where students attend school three days a week and take part in home learning when they are not in buildings. For more information on the Together Again Return to School Plan, click here.