Butte public schools prepare as kids return to in-person classes Monday

Posted at 1:57 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 16:03:42-04

BUTTE — East Middle School principal Keith Miller always gets butterflies in his stomach at the beginning of the school year -- but this isn’t a typical school year.

“The butterflies might be a little bigger this year because we’re doing a lot of construction and we’ve also done a lot of COVID planning and making sure we’re keeping everything clean and safe for the kids,” said Miller.

The more than 600 students will be placed into cohorts of 20 students and talking their classes in blocks to avoid intermingling with other students.

“Kids are actually getting a lot of time on task with teachers, so as we move forward with this it’s a new adventure, but I feel pretty confident,” said Miller.

Construction crews were still upgrading the school’s classrooms and security this week, but the school will be ready in time for the first class Monday morning.

Miller said teachers will be helping students stay safe in this time of coronavirus, "whether it be masking up, hand-washing, we’re teaching those skills to make sure those kids are doing it right as well."

There’s plenty of work yet to be done, including the construction of this new gymnasium over the next few years, but really staff and teachers are just excited for Monday when the kids come back to class.

“Closure last spring really wore on and each day got a little tougher to be here without the kids, you don’t get into teaching if you don’t like being around the kids, so you take them out of the school, you know, you kind of lose the heart of the school,” said East Middle School Health and Physical Education Teacher Steve Shahan.