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Negaunee’s Lakeview Elementary set to begin school year

Teachers and staff say they are ready to start Tuesday
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 10:17 AM EDT
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NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) - Students in Negaunee head back to school September 1 with the option of face to face learning or Irontown Virutal, the district’s online program. There are just over 1,500 students in Negaunee’s school district, 243 of them have signed up for Irontown Virtual.

Teachers and staff at Lakeview Elementary School have been busy preparing their rooms to meet the new mandates set by the state.

It’s not the way her classroom has looked in past years and it’s taken a bit of creativity to make it all work. Junior kindergarten teacher, Katie Trudgeon has moved a lot of supplies out of her room, she’s made bins for the toys, to be used by only one child every week. There are dots on the floor to help her students with spacing, partitions on the table and baskets for books, one for each child. There’s no sharing of supplies, those are also separated into individual containers

Going over everything, Trudgeon says she’s ready.

“We are so prepared for them and we are so excited that all of that excitement has lead us to being as prepared as we can be in these situations,” Trudgeon said.

There is no doubt this year will be different. Along with all of the physical changes and the constant wearing of masks indoors, there will also be a change in the way students interact.

“We’re just going to have to teach them different ways to be social with kids,” said Trudgeon. “We are not going to put them in corners and not let them socialize with kids. We just have to teach them how to do things differently.”

And that will happen from day one, even as students arrive to school, Lakeview is now a closed campus. Parents will have to drop off their students outside. Lunch time will be separated by grades, students on just one side of every table. Every aspect of the school day has been reviewed and modified and as things get underway, more changes are possible.

Lakeview Principal Julie Peterson asks the community and parents for grace and time.

“The energy’s phenomenal right now, we know that we won’t do it perfect but what we do know is that we have the ability and the words to say, we’ll do better. That was one of the biggest things, okay we didn’t do it perfectly, our children didn’t do it perfectly and our families don’t, human beings don’t but we’ll do it better, we’ll try again,” said Peterson.

And it’s that determination says Peterson that has the staff at Lakeview ready. She says they’re energized, they’re confident in their planning and together they’ve created an environment they can’t wait to share with their students.

“I don’t see people that are nervous,” Trudgeon added. “I don’t see people that are scared, I see people who have their heels in the mud and they’re just so ready to get on with school.”

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