Some Chesapeake students are first to be back in class amid pandemic


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – For the first time this school year, students are back in the classroom in Chesapeake.

“That same thrill I had when I woke up this morning I would have any other beginning of the school year,” said Thurgood Marshall Elementary Principal Anthony Perry.

This is Perry’s first day at the helm of the school. The anticipation was overwhelming.

“It was difficult trying to wrap your head around the fact that you are planning for a school year without kids entering the building was a challenge,” Perry added.

The challenge has turned to the start of face to face classes. Monday both pre-k and kindergarten students walked through the halls.

“There is a lot of enthusiasm in the air,” Perry said. “Teachers are excited to have our babies back in the building, the students are excited to be here and parents were excited to drop their babies off this morning.”

Though things are very different. Everyone is wearing a mask, there are sanitizing stations on every hallway and parents have to take their kids’ temperature every morning.

“The biggest challenge that we have is trying to ensure that students are staying three feet apart from each other while they are in the hallways,” Perry added. 

This time last year there were five Pre-K and five kindergarten classes at the school. This year there only two of each.

“We have our masks, we are constantly washing hands and our custodians are periodically cleaning the classroom,” Perry said. “We have a lot of great things in place to secure safety for our students.”

Chesapeake is the first public school system to go face to face. Administrators know everyone else is watching.

“All eyes are on us,” Perrry chuckled. “I believe Chesapeake has put in place all things to be successful. I have no problem taking lead and leading that challenge.”

Next week Chesapeake will mix in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders. No decision has been made when the rest of the grades will come back to school

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