Broomfield, Colo. — A number of parents and students in the metro are excited as many students will return to in-person learning soon.
“I literally did the happy dance when they told us that morning that we were going back in person,” Kohl Elementary School teacher Colleen Westbrook said.
Westbrook is thrilled she'll be teaching her kindergarten class in person starting Tuesday.
“Are you kidding? Yay! We literally counted down the days when we were home,” she said.
Her classroom is set up with a lot of safety protocols, including individually wrapped totes for each kid, extra cleanings and a lot of hand washing.
“We have six hand-washing breaks during the day and they know that they literally know that they learn so quickly that when they come in from recess they just put their hands up,” she said.
She knows the safety issues out there.
“I’m not naïvely thinking that there’s not a risk. I just don’t have concerns,” she said.
But she knows how important the peer interaction is for her students.
“My hope is that when they come back in here they can build those friendships and do the social emotional stuff,” Westbrook said.
And the Boulder Valley School District says they've learned from the issues that caused the remote learning before.
“The biggest issue we had last fall we had to go back to remote was it’s not that we had a lot of people sick it was just really the fact that these quarantines had impact on our staff and pulled out enough people that we couldn’t then supervise our students the way we wanted to,” BVSD Chief Communication Officer Randy Barber said.
They've enlisted classroom monitors. Basically an extra set of hands, so if a teacher is quarantined kids can stay in class.
“We feel very lucky that our parents and our committee members put their hands up an upside were willing to come,” Barber said.
Boulder Valley, Littleton and Douglas each return elementary students to class Tuesday and more at later days while other districts return soon.
Westbrook is just happy her countdown calendar hit zero.
“Sounds crazy doesn’t it. It’s kind of backwards but it’s because we want to have them in here. Because we can teach them in here,” Westbrook said.