Back to School: Staff, students at Kettering Schools hope for normal year despite COVID concerns

KETTERING, Ohio — Students in several districts in the Miami Valley are returning to class this week.

It’s the first day of class for most students at Kettering City Schools. Last year, there was a lot of back and forth from in-person learning to online instruction. News Center 7′s Kayla Courvell spoke with Fairmont High School Principal Tyler Alexander who said he’s hoping this year will provide a sort of normalcy for students.

“Last year, our first day of school was in November and then we went back to virtual and back to in-person learning in January, so we have a normal first day is exciting.”

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Jenna Reid gets to start her first day of Freshman year in person.

“A little nervous. I’m afraid I’ll get lost,” Reid said.

While first through tenth grade started on Thursday, underclassman at Fairmont spent the day getting acclimated with the school, while juniors and seniors had one extra day of summer before their first day on Friday.

This year, Kettering’s police for wearing masks is strongly encouraged for students and staff who are unvaccinated. Reid said as she walks through Fairmont’s front doors, she will be wearing a mask.

She said, “my parents want me to. I don’t like it, but I get why they want it. They just want me to be safe, so I’ll be fine with it.”

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Alexander said the staff at Fairmont is doing everything they can to keep students safe this year.

“Working really hard to keep students apart from each other as much as we can. We’re going to be contact tracing. Those are things we don’t normally do, but with the pandemic we’re doing that,” Alexander said.

While there may be some bumps in the road, Alexander said they’re excited to have students in the classroom again.

“I hope they’ll see some normalcy. We just want this to be a normal school year, as normal as it can be,” he said.

On Monday, preschoolers return to class and kindergartners return to class next Wednesday.

Kayla Courvell

Kayla Courvell

I was born and raised in a small town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and decided as a child I was going to be a news reporter.