Spartanburg Co. teachers return to school, prepare for students

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SPARTANBURG CO., S.C. (WSPA) – With school starting back in just one week for Spartanburg County students, teachers spent their first day back in the classroom on Monday getting ready.

7 News shadowed one of those teachers and learned what measures are being put in place to keep your kids safe.

“It’s totally different, but a lot is the same–all at the same time,” 4th grade teacher at Abner Creek Academy, Jen Linkous, said.

While school may not look “normal” this year, teachers like Jen Linkous are doing everything they can to make it feel that way.

“When you go to school, it feels like home; but there are a lot of things in the air that we’re still not aware of,” she said.

After COVID-19 forced her to work from home last spring, and kept her from seeing her students face-to-face for five long months, Linkous said she’s ready to welcome kids back into the classroom.

“It’s not a nerves thing, I think it’s more of just the unknown that’s still kind of heavy,” she said. “But I’m definitely not nervous. I’m excited.”

Students in Spartanburg District 5 will be on an alternating schedule–split alphabetically–and will spend two days a week in the classroom and three days at home e-learning.

When students are in Linkous’ classroom, she said they can expect a little bit of a change from last year.

“I’ve moved out some of my furniture and some of my small group areas where we usually do collaborative learning,” she said.

She told 7 News that mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, and lots of cleaning and social distancing have become a part of her new lesson plans.

“I’m calling them islands because they can spread out and have their own little spot,” Linkous said about the desks in her classroom.

But, no matter how different class may look, Linkous said one thing will remain the same: lots of learning and lots of fun are still in store.

“We’re excited to see the kids back and hear their laughter,” she said. “Watch them learn something new and see those light bulbs go off.”

Elementary school students in District 5 will get their first taste of what the new school year will look like when they go by to meet their teachers on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.

Students in District 5 will start back to school next Monday, August 17th.

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