METAIRIE, La. — Parents had mixed emotions as they dropped off their children to John Q. Adams Middle School on Monday.
"Hopefully we'll get through the school year without any issues," one parent said. "I'm just ready for her to go back," another said with a laugh.
A return for the classroom isn't something everyone was ready for. A large number of Jefferson Parish teachers pushed back against any in-person class as the state works to get the number of COVID-19 cases under control.
Since then, "there have been some movements; there have been some strides,” said Kesler Camise-Jones, president of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers.
The Jefferson Federation of Teachers says it has several concerns as the school year begins and students and teachers come face to face. Among them:
- Proper social distancing
- Classroom set-ups
- Class sizes
- And virtual learning set-ups for teachers and students
"The district hasn't been unwilling to work with us, but we do want those concerns met, especially as it pertains to the air-filtration system in the buildings and providing additional PPE for those classrooms that cannot socially distance up to six feet,” Camise-Jones said.
In a statement, Jefferson Parish Public Schools superintendent James Gray said "... a significant number (of teachers) I have spoken with have expressed that they feel more prepared and ready to welcome our students back.
“Since the initial start date was pushed back, we've had time to offer additional teacher professional development and training, and ensure every classroom has appropriate supplies for the start of school,” Gray wrote.
As Tom Benson School let out Monday afternoon, some students said they were just glad to be back, even if they aren't keen on the mask mandate.
“I missed all my friends and I missed going to school and I don't have to be bored at home,” said Mia Torres, a Benson School third-grader.