Hartselle City Schools students are back at school for the first time in nearly six months since schools had to shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The district implemented a number of safety measures from the school buses all the way to the classrooms. WAAY 31 got to look inside Hartselle High School to see some of the changes.
As soon as teachers and students walk in the high school, they'll not only notice a hand sanitation station, but also a new machine. They'll put their foreheads near the device and it will tell them what their temperatures are before they enter further into the building.
"I'm just excited to get started. I like my job, I like my kids, I like my students and I've missed them," Jake Myles, a teacher at Hartselle High School, said.
For Myles, this is going to be his twentieth year teaching, and because of coronavirus, it's not going to be like any other, something he says makes him a little nervous.
"We all want to do things correctly, and I think that's the most important thing. We want to do things safe, we want to do things correctly, but we also want to educate our kids," he said.
In the classroom, desks will all face one direction. Students will not share things like glue or scissors. Hand sanitizing and hand washing stations will be available throughout the school for teachers and students to use. Students in elementary and middle schools will have a staff member take their temperature with a hand-held thermometer before they enter the schools.
"Right now, we're very confident with what we have in place. Our nurses worked very hard last week to make sure they were aware of all new protocols. They were trained on everything that we have in place for our students," Dr. Dee Dee Jones, the Hartselle City Schools superintendent, said.
One high school student told WAAY 31 despite all the new safety measures, he's happy to be back.
"Nervous, but I'm happy to be back. Honestly, it's been hard, you know, staying home all the time. It's not been fun," Travis Homer, a sophomore at Hartselle High School, said.
A staff member is going to be standing in front of the schools to make sure students enter with their masks on. Students in 2nd through 12th grade are going to have to wear those masks all day, but there will be breaks to take them off.
Only half the students returned on Monday. Students with last names starting with L through Z will have their first day on Tuesday. All students will be back on Wednesday.