More than 7,000 students return to classrooms in more than a year
March 17, 2021 — More than 7,000 Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) students stepped into a classroom today for the first time in more than a year, kicking off the district’s rolling, hybrid in-person learning schedule after the pandemic sent students home to learn virtually last March.
Clapping and often clad in matching T-shirts, elementary teachers, staff and administrators welcomed students in kindergarten through second grade who are in Group A or receiving special education services. Other JCPS students will return to buildings over the next two and a half weeks, although some will continue to receive instruction online through the district’s Virtual Academy.
“The first day of school has always been my favorite day of the school calendar, and while this year has been anything but normal, I still saw that same energy and excitement from students and staff, all across the district,” said Dr. Marty Pollio, JCPS superintendent. “I have repeatedly said that we will need to be very intentional to help students recover from the trauma and learning loss of the past year. But today, seeing kids run into their buildings, and watching teachers and staff get genuinely excited to see their students, it was a powerful reminder that schools are important cornerstones in our children’s lives. We need to celebrate this meaningful tradition, for them, their families and our staff, however late it may be.”
Schools reported no major issues, with many saying it went much smoother than expected.
Buses transported the majority of students to schools – 4,000, delivered to schools by more than 700 buses. By 5:55 p.m., all students had returned home.
Over the next week and a half, additional students will return on the following schedule:
Thursday, March 18: Kindergarten – fifth-grade students Group B (last name starts with L-Z) and elementary students receiving special education services (ECE)
Monday, March 22: Kindergarten – fifth-grade students Group A (last name starts with A-K), elementary students receiving special education services (ECE) and Early Childhood students Group A (last name starts with A-K)
Wednesday, March 24: Virtual learning day for all students
Thursday, March 25: Kindergarten – fifth-grade students Group B (last name starts with L-Z), elementary students receiving special education services (ECE) and Early Childhood students Group B (last name starts with L-Z)