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NKC and KCPS teachers ready for upcoming school year

They have been preparing all summer for this moment
Posted at 4:00 AM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 08:12:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Monday is the first day of school for thousands of students all across the metro.

"Really excited to kind of go back to normal as best as possible," said Chelsey Chandler, teacher at Gateway 6th Grade Center in the North Kansas City School District.

With the last year still top of mind, teachers all over including at J.A. Rogers Elementary School in Kansas City are excited to pivot from learning on iPads at home to learning at school full time.

"I am over the moon to be starting in-person on Monday," said Carly Overesch, second-grade teacher in KCPS.

Overesch hopes to use the challenges of teaching over Zoom to make this year successful.

"It was extremely difficult, and just students managing their own time, parents had to continue on with a lot of their lives and had to continue on with working and taking care of other siblings in the house," Overesch said.

KSHB 41 News also spoke with first-grade teacher Marissa Provost about the upcoming year.

"Getting their desks set up, not having to worry about the shields, having their own boxes of containers and thinking, 'How many times are we going to sanitize throughout the day?' Just a new set of normal," Provost said.

Masks will be required for students, guests and staff, in accordance with CDC guidance in the Kansas City Public Schools.

Shields at desks were a must at Gateway 6th Grade Center in NKC last year. But now, students are able to sit closer and no longer have shields up. All students, staff and visitors will be required to wear masks in NKC schools.

This is a sigh of relief for teachers as they hope learning will be easier this year in-person.

"Teaching online was really difficult. Being in-person, seeing the work they are doing makes all the difference," Chandler said.

Lauren Blackwell, teacher at Gateway 6th Grade Center in NKC, is embracing the abundance of change the 2021-22 school year brings.

"Each class is going to be a little bit different, and each student is going to be a little bit different," Blackwell said. "Even in our days this week, we have really tried to look at how to fill our time and how to incorporate the nitty-gritty school work with some fun."

All four of these teachers understand concerns about learning loss. That's why they all said to have faith in the process.

"We have been working all summer to prepare for this," Overesch said. "We've been working with each other, with our principal, with the district alone. I think it's important that parents know we are taking it seriously."