Bob Jones High School students returned to classrooms for the first time since March on Monday.
While other Madison City Schools returned last month, the school held off due to a coronavirus outbreak.
“This has been a very long awaited day and we have been so excited to have our kids back -- even half of them,” Principal Sylvia Lambert said.
Lambert said about 67% of students opted to return for traditional learning, bringing that group back on a staggered schedule this week. All of them will be back on campus for five days of in-person instruction next week.
“It has been so exciting to see the kids -- well, I was going to say their faces, but everybody is in masks, so I know they’re smiling because I can tell they’re smiling with their eyes,” Lambert said.
In addition to masking, the school is taking precautions including Plexiglas dividers and having some students eat lunch in their classrooms as well as cleaning numerous times each day.
After nine weeks of virtual learning, students like Hannah Cleveland, a senior, say it's great to be face to face with teachers again.
“Personally, I am an in-person learner, so virtual was just -- I was struggling a little bit,” Cleveland said. “But I feel like it just motivates everyone like when we get back in class be like, ‘Oh, we’re actually in class, the teacher’s are actually being able to teach a classroom and not teach a screen.’”
Cleveland says she expects there will be bumps in the road, but it’s exciting to be back around other people and see friends.
“I saw them today and I was like, ‘I feel like I haven’t seen you in so long,’ and they were like, ‘I know.’”
In addition to allowing students to re-acclimate to in-person learning, Lambert says this week will be a great opportunity for freshmen and other new students who are only getting to tour the school for the first time.