In-class learning: The excitement and anxiety of returning to school

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — COVID-19 in the classroom, students in Wichita start the school year Thursday, but some staff has already been sent home to isolate and quarantine.

Brent Lewis, the United Teachers of Wichita president, says there is anxiety for teachers returning to class, but it’s a risk many are willing to take to keep in-school learning going.

“So we’re basically asking our community to come through and wear masks to school so we can keep them open and keep our students and staff safe,” Lewis explained.

For many in USD 259, the end of summer and the beginning of the school year brings excitement.

“I think generally we’re positive we want to be in school,” Lewis explained. “We want to be in classrooms with our students, and so we’re eager to get this going.”

Lewis says he and his family are listening to the recommendation to stay safe.

“I wear a mask,” Lewis added. “My daughters wear masks. None of us wanted to deal with the pandemic certainly, so we’re trying to do our best as everyone else to keep going through life the way we’d like to but taking precautions as they’re necessary.”

This return to the classroom also brings a nervousness about the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Yes, there’s anxiety, certainly,” said Lewis. “We have these risks that are among us in our community. There’s really just no way to avoid the risk completely, so we’re just going to have to use the protocols, use all the safety procedures to do the best we can to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Lewis says a couple of faculty sent home already due to the district’s COVID-19 protocol. However, he didn’t have an exact number. KSN News reached out to USD 259 to see if they could get us those numbers, but they have not been sent to us yet.

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