MNPS elementary school principal talks about return to in-person learning

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Nashville’s youngest students return to in-person learning this week.

Executive Principal Myra Taylor at Jones Paideia Elementary said it’s been a stressful process of preparing but educators are ready.

“In a lot of ways excited about the children coming back but also understanding the huge responsibility of making sure that everyone is safe,” Taylor said. “We have a dual focus. We definitely want to be safe – that’s the first thing. But, we’re also educating kids. That’s what we’re called to do so it’s really incredible, a little bit stressful trying to make sure all of the details are managed.”

MNPS outlined several policies to help protect students and staff during the pandemic.

Taylor wanted to remind parents to check their child’s temperature before bringing them to school, and to keep them home if they show any signs of being sick.

All MNPS students and staff will have to wear face masks and principal Taylor said she felt students will comply.

“Students will rise to the expectations that we place in front of them as long as we’re modeling those expectations and we’re consistent with them so we’re going to treat this like any other expectation just like we expect you to walk in the hallways, we expect you to use your inside voices. We’re just going to make it a very clear expectation. We’re going to model it, we’re going to encourage it, and then we’ll reward it,” said Taylor.

Pre-K to second grade students return to the classroom on Tuesday in Nashville. The following week it’ll be third and fourth graders having their turn.

“I just want parents and families and students to know that we’re ready and that there has been a lot of preparation, a lot of planning, a lot of conversations about getting ready for school and we’re ready. We understand that kids have been out for a while and that there may be some learning loss but we’re ready to hit the ground running,” she said. “

Taylor said it’s important for parents to have conversations with their children about how to adjust to the changes.

“I told my children you’re going to have to make sure you’re being kind. Right now we’re all dealing with this. It’s not just you, it’s not just me, it’s everybody. Everybody has been impacted by this pandemic in one way or another so where you are usually a kind person we need you to be extra kind, we need you to be extra patient. You may have to wait a little longer. You may have to stand in line. You may not be able to touch your friend. You gotta keep your mask on all day but in all of that you still have to treat other people kindly,” said Taylor.

CLICK HERE to read more about the safety protocols outlined by the district.

News 2 digs deeper into how schools are moving forward safely for the new academic year. See how other districts around Middle Tennessee are handling everything from classroom concerns to the future of sports in our special series. Click here to see more.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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