Early signs positive for KSD

by JOSH MCDONALD
Staff Reporter | September 14, 2020 3:18 PM

KELLOGG — Despite multiple things working against them, the Kellogg School District opened its doors for the 2020/21 school year.

Much like their neighbors to the east in Wallace, the Kellogg School District has split their classroom sizes into purple and gold days to reduce the amount of students in each classroom per day.

Fighting against a pandemic, as well as sudden onset hazardous air quality, KSD has worked hard to make sure that they didn’t cancel school less than three days into the school year.

The biggest district in the Silver Valley had to manage the schedules for four buildings, and more than 1,000 students — and the early reactions from students and teachers have been largely positive.

“Everything went better than expected,” said KSD Superintendent Dr. Nancy Larsen. “Our advance planning paid off because teachers were ready to go and students were excited to be in schools. I've received and listened to many teachers express how pleasantly surprised they were with the first day of school. They are so relieved to be back in school and practicing their craft. Teachers went home tired after the first day, but they also went home with a deep sense of satisfaction.”

At Kellogg High School, where older students have more freedoms than their younger counterparts, the first few days went well according to Principal Curt-Randall Bayer.

“The routines we had pre-planned for generally were effective and efficient,” Bayer said. “We only had a few students with schedule change issues. I would say our start was productive and positive for such an uncommon year.”

According to both Larsen and Bayer, the most challenging aspect thus far has surrounded the digital learning aspects, but according to both of them it isn’t anything that they can’t adjust.

“Our digital learning will require some extra attention, but it is very doable,” Larsen said.

Bayer was very happy that despite the more stringent rules, his students were very understanding of the new routines in place at KHS, and most of them were simply happy to be there, a sentiment that Larsen herself had heard from some of the students she was able to interact with.

“In talking with students, they are happy to be in buildings,” Larsen said. “They have actually missed us and their school. They're doing well with our safety precautions in place. Despite these precautions, classrooms seem pretty normal.”