Kindergarteners prepare to learn in-person for the first time, pandemic style

Staci Brown fixes her son Landon's mask during his school's open house.
Staci Brown fixes her son Landon's mask during his school's open house.(WILX)
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 5:41 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Heading to school for the very first time during a pandemic can be intimidating. That’s why Eaton Rapids Public Schools invited kindergarteners and their parents in for their annual open house before in-person classes started.

At Greyhound Central, kindergarteners got a taste of what it will be like when they start school on Tuesday.

Staci Brown and her son Landon took advantage of the opportunity.

“Are you nervous?” Staci asked Landon as he hid behind her. “You’re alright.”

Landon is Brown’s first child and it was his first experience going to school.

“This is definitely different. The dividers and the separation of the tables, but it’ll be okay,” said Brown.

Five-year-old Landon took some time warming up to the idea of being in school and independent. Eventually, he got excited and had plenty of questions for his mom.

“How do you open a locker? I forgot,” said Landon. “Let’s test it out”.

His teacher Kristy Ford says that’s what the open house is all about and it’s even more important this school year with virtual learning and so many safety measures.

“This is really a lot for them because this isn’t an environment that they’re used to and we want them to come in knowing where they’re supposed to go, knowing that a face that they’ve been seeing on a video camera is a real person they can interact with,” said Ford.

Ford says she’s excited to have everyone in class despite all the new procedures she must follow.

“This is my environment. This is what I was made to do,” said Ford.

Starting school during a pandemic is different, but it’s a little easier to get used to when it’s the only experience you’ve had.

Nate Miller said he’s grateful his son has the opportunity to get into a classroom for the first time.

“I think the necessary precautions are being taken and at that point, I think that’s really all we can do,” said Miller.

He’s hoping his son Jayse has more chances to be social with other children.

“I feel like it will help him break out of his shell as far as being shy,” said Miller.

K-5 students in Eaton Rapids Public Schools will head back in person on Tuesday. So will students at Charlotte and DeWitt Public Schools.

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