Central Valley elementary, middle school principals say phasing in students has been ‘smooth process’

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — More Central Valley students are going back to the classroom this week.

Fifth graders will be phased in this week, Group A going back on Thursday, Jan. 21 and Group B on Friday, Jan 22.

All sixth grade students will go back to class on Thursday, Jan. 21 and attend school daily.

4 News Now spoke with two Central Valley School District principals about how this process is going.

Scott Krentel, principal of McDonald Elementary School, phasing in fourth graders and bringing them all back this Tuesday was a smooth process.

There’s been a lot of thankfulness and grace from families excited to have their kids back in the classroom again.

The students themselves are also handling being back better than he thought.

When asked what teachers are prioritizing in preparation for their students, he says academic success and mental and emotional well-being have equally been important.

“The teacher is able to slow the clock down a little bit, teach the expectations, build relationships and connections, said Krentel. “Take care of even some anxiety about what it looks like to come back to school. ‘Can I do it?’, ‘Will my mask be ok?’, ‘What is it like?’, and then get back in person.”

The principal of Bowdish Middle school, Laura Lindley, says last week, sixth graders were in their respective buildings for the first time and the students were excited about it.

But just like with elementary students, there are some who are nervous and anxious about coming back.

Lindley says teachers are doing their best to encourage students and prepare them, but parents can help too.

“The more parents can get educated on what our processes are, I think they’ll feel better prepared and know better what to expect when they do send their child here,” she said.

Seventh and eighth grade students will start a one-day-a-week hybrid model on Feb. 1.

Lindley says the transition will look similar to sixth grade.

Parents should be equipped with a packet of information on the changes and Central Valley School District is hosting regular webinars online.

You’re also encouraged to contact your student’s school with any questions you may have.

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