With backpacks full of supplies and smiles under their masks, kindergarteners are heading into classrooms with excitement as they attend orientation sessions.
And not only are the little ones ready — so are their teachers.
“Last year because of the pandemic, of course, we had to empty our classrooms and our classrooms were childless and the most important thing is to have these kids around us,” Kindergarten teacher at Lewis and Clark Elementary Amy Neal said.
Neal’s 25th year as an educator is unlike any other with the pandemic, and she has some different tips for parents on helping kids do best on their first day.
“Opening their own lunchbox or putting on their own shoes or hanging up a coat or hanging up a backpack,” Neal said.
And there is another important daily skill Neal says parents should emphasize prior to heading out the door.
“Have your child wash their hands really well and use the bathroom before coming to school,” Neal said.
A parent we spoke with says she’s eager for her son to see his peers, but she did emphasize one concern.
“I am most excited about my kindergartener coming and making friends and just experiencing what school is all about. One thing that does make me a little bit nervous is how he will with the masks, I know that’s going to pose a challenge for kids his age. Luckily because this is his first year in school he doesn’t know school any other way so I think that it should be alright,” parent Mikayla Hild said.
And although this year is unlike any other, one constant remains.
“It’s gonna look a little bit different but we are gonna welcome those kids with great big bear ghost hugs. I’m gonna call it bear ghost hugs because that’s what we’re most excited about is having kids in our classrooms in their seats and having fun together,” Neal said.
Minot Public Schools is set to begin in-person classes on Thursday, and families that chose to distance learn will start on Aug. 31.