Aransas Pass Students Return to School

Aransas Pass Students Return to School
Posted on 09/14/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Aransas Pass Students Return to SchoolAuthor: Roland Rodriguez

Labor Day weekend is in the books and now hundreds of Aransas Pass students, Pre-K through 5th grade, are opening their books and kicking off the school year, whether in-person or online.
“That has been our main goal, how to get back to allowing our students to come on campus because that is where we need them. We need them in our classrooms, we need to see them, be with them, in order to take the educational process to the highest level possible. Virtual is a great format, and our teachers have done a fantastic job of doing that and will continue to do that. But we know that the best educational place is for them to be on campus,” said Aransas Pass Independent School District (APISD) Superintendent Cara Cooke.
Well it has certainly looked a little different than years' past, but 2020's first day of school for H. T. Faulk Elementary students started off without a hitch last week as the students became familiar with the new class routine during COVID.
“Just setting up the protocols that were handed to us by the TEA and the CDC so we have to make sure we follow those for the safety of our children and our staff, and it has been a big transition for both. It is going great; the kids are doing so much better than we even anticipated. I think they are all used to the face masks. We were worried about them wearing them in the hallways and adapting to that and playing with them, but it has been great. Kids are just so adaptable; they make our jobs easy,” said H. T. Faulk Assistant Principal Jodie Algueseva.
“You have to wear the mask and the six feet apart ruling. It is a lot of things that are different,” said H. T. Falk 2nd grader Shannon Elrod.
Charlie Marshall Elementary, where students are required to wear face masks at all times, is operating under a combination of in-class and virtual instruction.
“With all of the heartache and all of the headache that has gone and got us to where we are, it has gone amazingly well. I would love to take credit, but it is the credit of my teaching staff, the support of our parents. The parents have been very supportive and happy that we opened the doors to those who have decided to send their children. I would love to have all our children in the building. We provide so much more than just the curriculum: the reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. A lot of it is the socialization, how to share, walk in line, how to follow rules outside the home. Moving forward, trying to get back to as normal as we can battling something we can’t see, which is a virus,” said Charlie Marshall Elementary Principal Jeremy Saegert.
While the district reopening plans are in line with CDC and county health orders, the focus for many students is regaining a sense of “ordinary” in these extraordinary times.
“It felt great because I am not stuck at home on my phone or watching tv,” said Charlie Marshall 5th grader Dara Davila.
“So basically, I really wanted to come back because I am bored at home, and there is nothing really to do. I can’t really go anywhere with my family so it is boring at home,” said Charlie Marshall 4th grader Dominic Zapata.
 “I am really excited because being at home is not always fun so whenever I come to school, I get to see my friends again,” said Charlie Marshall 4th grader Zoe Faith Flores.
The Aransas Pass Independent School District is expected to start their next phase on September 22nd.
“That is when we will do our next phase for secondary students. Sixth grade through 12th grade will have the option to return to the campuses.  At the time, the entire district will be open, and we are working on our processes for what it would look like to change from one format to another to ensure continuity and safety for all,” said Cooke.
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