Panthers return to school in-person and at home

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The Point Pleasant School District welcomed students back for a new school year of in-person and remote learning Sept. 8. [DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS]

POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant School District officials are lauding a successful first day of the 2020-2021 school year.

The pitter-patter of feet echoed through the hallways of district buildings once again Tuesday as students with the last names L through Z, part of cohort B under the district’s hybrid schedule, returned to classes in-person for the first time since March, while their peers in cohort A logged on once again from home.

“For the first day, under the circumstances and the fact that we haven’t been in school since March 13, I think it went pretty well overall,” Superintendent Vincent S. Smith told The Ocean Star. “Obviously there are things we still need to work out, but that is normal in any school year.”

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On Sept. 8 students were welcomed back to school with a special video message from the superintendent, along with social media posts and other messages from school organizations, administrators and more.

“HAPPY 1ST DAY OF SCHOOL! Ocean Road School PTO wishes all students and teachers an amazing first day of school!,” the parent organization tweeted Tuesday morning, while students at Nellie F. Bennett Elementary School were pleased to see “Welcome Back” written on the sidewalk at the school entrance along with other positive messages to help them kick off the school year.

“It was good to see new and old faces [well the top half of them at least] today,” Point Pleasant Borough High School teacher Amy Hover posted in a Twitter message retweeted by the district.

Under the district’s hybrid learning model, which utilizes a combination of in-person and remote instruction during students half day schedules, children are split into two cohorts, with those having last names starting with the letters A to K attending school on Mondays and Wednesdays, while students with last names L to Z attend school Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

On Fridays, Sept. 18, Sept. 25, Oct. 2, Oct. 9 and Oct. 16, all students will learn remotely. Starting on Oct. 23, cohorts A and B will begin rotating on Fridays, coming into school for in-person instruction.

“I was out at most of the schools in the morning. I was at Memorial Middle School, the high school and Nellie Bennett, and the drop-offs really went well overall. A lot of kids were walking and riding bikes and things so I think that went pretty well,” Mr. Smith said. 

“I know at Ocean Road, I didn’t get there for that, but I did speak to the police and I talked to Mrs. [Sheila] Buck the principal and everything really went well there too. The people either walking their kids up, dropping them off, busing all went pretty well there. We were happy with that.”

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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