A school day at Munising Public Schools, one year later
Uncertainty and reluctance have been replaced with hope and optimism
MUNISING, Mich. (WLUC) - At Munising Public Schools, 90% of students have returned to in-person learning and 70% of teachers and staff have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
For Bus Driver Kelly King, it’s nearly business as usual on her runs to and from school every day.
“Right now I’m running just about what I was running for capacity before Covid even hit,” says King. She says the hesitation and concerns felt in the fall have subsided and a new routine has settled in.
“It’s just normal for them,” Kings adds, “they know what they have to do. They’ve just accepted it and it hasn’t slowed them down any. They come on and they’re still kids.”
Much of that same sentiment is felt inside Munising Middle and High school. As the day begins, masks, extra cleaning and sanitization have become standard. “I think school has a different vibe to it, just because of all of the new rules,” says Senior Mason Smith.
And as rules are followed moments also, once taken for granted have returned in small doses. Group work, conversation and interaction are back in classrooms.
Science Teacher Nicole Lasak says, “students do best learning from each other and from talking things out, so I haven’t changed my pedagogy on what I’m doing but the basic structure of some things has changed a little bit.”
Social distancing is done where possible. Masks are mandated at all times except at lunch. There, seating has been drastically reduced, the halls instead are filled with desks for eating.
Afternoon antigen tests are normal. Today, wrestlers are getting swabbed before an afternoon competition.
And, gym class has been altered, distanced physical activity is encouraged and required.
But in the midst of all of the preparation, planning, and cleaning a very real reminder that the threat of Covid is not gone and all of the efforts are not done in vain.
“Covid became very real and personal for Munising Public Schools,” says Superintendent Pete Kelto, “we lost a staff member due to Covid on February 14th of this year. So on one hand things have gone very well as far as delivering an education to our students but Covid is no longer a number on the evening news, it became very personal for us.”
The work now, done to honor and remember, what happens here matters. The impact of a pandemic is not over and there is still work to be done.
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