Students are stepping foot into their schools for the first time in almost three months to clean out their lockers and return textbooks this week and next.
Superintendent Scott Smith said some high schoolers started cleaning out their lockers last week, continuing this week along with middle schoolers, and elementary students will begin next week. Schools were closed to students and staff beginning March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We went to Margaret Brent [Middle School] on Monday to pick up my son’s stuff. It went seamlessly,” Karin Bailey, chair of the school board, said at the beginning of Wednesday’s school board meeting.
She asked parents to “please” read their emails to understand the flow of traffic.
Everything was pulled out of classrooms and sorted in bins based on subjects for kids to pick up, Bailey said about her son’s experience.
“It was extremely well organized,” she said, adding that her son was in and out in under 10 minutes though they were given 20 minutes.
Brett Berg, a soon-to-be senior at Great Mills High School, was hauling four textbooks inside the building on Thursday along with his classmate Desmond Barnes, who carried two of his own.
Barnes said the process is “not really a big deal” while Berg added that Principal “Dr. [Jake] Heibel is making it work.”
Heibel told The Enterprise the process has been smooth. They started a couple weeks ago when seniors cleaned out their lockers. Then continued on Tuesday with ninth graders. Sophomores went on Wednesday and juniors on Thursday.
Students were assigned time slots for cleanout based on last names. Thursday’s agenda for Hornets started with 9 to 10 a.m. for juniors with the last names A through F. The last slot for names P through Z started at 11 a.m. and ends at noon.
When students arrived, a security assistant directed them to wait outside the building until another student exited. Heibel said they had a few hundred students so far and will implement makeup days if need be.
Instead of entering the building, elementary students at Hollywood Elementary will have curbside pickup, according to Principal Jennifer Gilman. She said teachers bag the items for the students.
A June 10 post on White Marsh Elementary’s website said parents can arrive during their assigned time block, follow the one way traffic pattern to arrive at three stations they set up. The first station is for check-ins and drop-offs.
Station two is to retrieve items and station three is only to retrieve medication. Parents and students cannot enter the building.