BATAVIA — The first day back for Batavia City School District students and staff – as much of the first week will apparently be – was about getting adjusted to a new environment.
“This is all new — temperature checks and attestations every morning. I think our staff are hesitant and nervous a little bit,” said Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr. Monday morning. “But I think, once you see kids, when things start to feel a little more normal and they’re excited to see their peers and their teachers. We’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to get back to normal sooner than later.”
Soler said the constantly changing guidance and regulations was probably the most difficult piece to deal with.
“The minute we thought we had a good understanding of something, we got new guidance on it from the governor or the health department, or something else was required. It definitely was challenging, but we continue to review it, we revise it,” he said. “What I tell people is, it’s a plan. It’s not set in stone. We’ll make adjustments. We’ll use whatever factual data we can get, whatever new guidance comes out, we’ll continue to adjust ...
“We don’t have a high infection rate and we continue to stay low, where we are, in this region. I think Genesee County’s positioned a little bit differently than our neighbors in Monroe and Erie counties where we have a really low infection rate. I think that puts us at a better advantage to bring kids in,” Soler said.
High School Principal Paul Kesler said the morning went great.
‘We had students coming in four different doors. Some of it was a matter of helping than, on the first day, know which door to come in. We had a lot of students for breakfast this morning. Our BOCES students are here. They’ll eat breakfast and then they’re headed over there (motioning across street to the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership),” he said.
Kesler said the high school staff was out and about Monday morning.
“If a student looked confused, we helped them out on where to go. It’ll be a bit of a process as we start, but the students really knew ahead of time where to go,” he said.
“We want students to get used to their schedule. Our teachers are all prepared in each of their blocks to welcome students back. We’re highly aware that students haven’t been physically in the building since March,” the principal said. “Some of this week theme will be acclimating students back to school on some of the new protocols in school, but also making sure their social/emotional needs are taken care of as they make the transition back.”