Adjusting to a new school year

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SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Teachers and students in Northwest Arkansas are adjusting to in class learning during this pandemic.

Springdale High School algebra teacher, Brian Phillips said if it weren’t for students having to wear masks, you would think it was a normal school year. 

Phillips said he was nervous about exposure to the virus before school started, but now that he is in the classroom, he said he feels safe with all the measures in place.

Classes are smaller to allow for more space in between students and it helps that everyone is following the rules so far.

“I haven’t had to ask a single kid to put a mask on yet or anything like that,” Phillips said. “They’re being really mature about it and handling it really well. I feel really safe about it.”

Phillips said he is thankful to the parents who’ve talked with their kids about the importance of wearing face masks and following other guidelines.

At Shaw Elementary, fifth grade teacher, Emily Hartness said she didn’t know what to expect as she went back to the classroom just as she has for 19 years.

Enforcing mask wearing was her biggest concern, but her students have been good about wearing them and keeping them on, even when they’re playing outside. 

Hartness said this new school year is made a lot easier thanks to community support.

“I think just the support from parents and the grace they’re showing us as we navigate new things has been really helpful,” Hartness said. “To not feel that added pressure from that.”

Hartness said along with new mask rules, students are social distancing and surfaces are constantly sanitized, so she feels safe while in the classroom.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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