Central Valley kindergarten students start in-person learning

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Kindergarten students are finally getting to experience in-person learning. Central Valley School District welcomed their first batch of students Monday.

The district is slowly phasing students back to classrooms, alternating the days they attend. Around 75% of kindergarten students are back to in-person learning in the district. The rest are continuing remote learning.

“Kindergarteners, I think, have been some of the most adaptable learners. Since the very first day of virtual learning where they really have done well on Zoom. That has just translated to today. This is what they know, this is how school has looked,” said Melanie Kilgore, principal at University Elementary School.

As part of the school district’s safety protocols, there are a few things they have to take care of before they make their way to the classroom.

“When our students enter the building through any of our doors, they are met by an adult here at our attestation stations with hand sanitizer and an adult standing behind the Plexiglas checking their temperature,” Kilgore said.

This is where students and staff get checked in. Everyone has a survey they fill out that asks about their temperature, possible exposure to COVID-19 and whether or not they’re feeling any symptoms.

“So they present that to the adult that is at the door, who then places it in one of the different colored baskets, if they’re good to go. We need to recheck their temperature in just a few minutes or if we have any concerns,” Kilgore said.

Face masks are required. The school provided special lanyards for students to hold their mask when they’re eating lunch or playing outside.

The principal of University Elementary School said she’s pleased with how her kids are adjusting.

“Getting to see them in-person, live with their teachers, is so rewarding for the teachers, the kids and all of us in the building. It’s been a great day,” Kilgore said.

The earliest first graders can come back to in-person learning is two weeks from Monday. That’s all dependent on Spokane Regional Health District and whether or not Dr. Bob Lutz believes the data supports the move forward.

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