Waco ISD students return to in-person class since COVID outbreak closures

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WACO, Texas – Tennyson Middle School was buzzing with anticipation, as most schools do on their first day.

Students and teachers alike are feeling how different this school year is from past years.

“This is my seventh year teaching. All of my years have been here at Tennyson, and it’s like my first year all over again,” said Nicole Rodriguez an eighth grade teacher.

Teachers are making an extra effort to take on several roles, as always, all while preparing lesson plans in person and online for students who stay at home.

We noticed signs throughout the hallway reminding students to do their best to remain six feet apart, and those signs were reinforced by the school’s staff.

Some transitioning periods didn’t appear to have the social distancing the school asked for, but it’s still the beginning of the year – and as you can imagine, there are some kinks to be ironed out.

“We have several procedures we are reinforcing throughout the day, and I think its going to set the tone for the rest of the year. The first day of school always does. It’s just we have these extra factors that are weighing in,” said Matt Rambo, the principal of Tennyson Middle School.

We asked Rodriguez, an English teacher how her expectation of the first day of school measured up to the reality, while at first she predicted chaos.

She at first predicted chaos, but says the first day of school for her was surprisingly calm.

Teachers attribute a good start to the year to hours of preparation, teamwork and a cooperative student body.

“I think just staying positive and knowing that we’re all in this together, and it’s new for everybody. We’re doing the best that we can,” said Rodriguez.

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