Winlock Schools are now open. Even though they are open in hybrid, meaning they aren't in class every day, they are open. Students are attending classes and teachers are very happy to have their students back.
The teachers have missed their students, which has been evident in Facebook posts and pictures. The teachers can be in the classroom, but it's the students that bring life to the room.
Winlock Miller Elementary teachers and students provided quotes about being back to school.
"It's nice to have face to face interaction with children. I have seen leaps and bounds in student progress since we've returned," said Winlock First Grade Teacher Abbey Slorey.
"Equity! Students have much more access to content and learning in person than remote," said EL Teacher Diana Ortiz.
"One of the biggest benefits I'm seeing is that my students are able to learn from each other," said Special Education Teacher, Brenda Cline. "I am able to formatively assess and correct their errors and mistakes and give immediate feedback when learning to read. My kids are hands-on learners and it was difficult to provide a hands-on learning experience in a remote setting. It brings tears to my eyes to see that light come on when students get it."
"My favorite part about being back in school is hanging out with my friends and seeing teachers," said Fifth Grade Student Ellee Leon.
"I didn't like the online school because it was hard to concentrate," said Fifth Grade Student Madison Hoven. "I like being in person because I can concentrate and see my friends."
"It is so great to see students sitting at their desks engaged in learning," said Winlock Principal Scott Nye. "Although teachers are still providing quality instruction to our remote learners, you really can't replace the in-person learning experience. Reopening our school has been especially important for those students with special needs and those who need that extra social and emotional support."
Winlock Middle and High School Educators also provided quotes.
Bethany Hutson said, "I had students in my classroom this week for the first time in eight months and three days. I got to have in-person conversations, I got to hear their voices, I got to see their faces. I got to read to my students, to laugh with them, to joke with them, to help them with their work - things that were theoretically possible through distance learning, but in reality nearly impossible due to all of the extenuating circumstances and impossibility of providing equitable education in a distance learning platform. Are we back to an ideal model? No, of course not. However, I believe this is the first step towards giving kids the resources, the normalcy, the support, and the education that they need and deserve."
Kristy Iverson said, "It's been great to interact with our students in person! After being out of school for 8 months, both students and teachers are excited to get back to some normalcy."
Lisa Collins said, "I love having the kids back on campus, even if it is on a hybrid schedule. I have missed the kids. It is fun watching them interact with friends they haven't seen for a while and engage in learning. I appreciate the efforts the district has put forth to ensure safety for all of us. I can't wait for all of us to be together as a whole group; instead of alternating days."
Ben Suhrbier said, "After almost eight months of staring at a computer screen I am so happy to see students in-person and engaged in their learning."
Karl Scarborough said, "It is so nice to be back in school with students! I enjoy seeing them in class. We are able to continue building great relationships we have had in the past through online learning and now with them in school, it is even better. Although we are still not allowed to sing or play our instruments, we are being very creative with our music activities. The music students seem to enjoy the opportunity to do a variety of other musical things. We are able to explore music in a different way and learn more about the music, musicians, composers, and history that we didn't get enough of in the past."
Scarborough continued, "I am so appreciative of our administration, fellow teachers and staff that have put in so much time and energy to make this all a success. Planning for and teaching in a hybrid schedule is a lot of work, but definitely worth it! Seeing students in my classroom is what motivates me and gets me going every day."