Back-to-school 2020 supplies: pencils, folders, masks

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — School districts across the Capital Region have varying plans. Some are remote, some are in-person, and some are a combination. All students entering a school building have to prepare for a new set of rules, and pack some new supplies.

Engelhardt says letting kids choose their masks makes it more fun for them.

Bridget Engelhardt teaches pre-kindergarten in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District, and she says the general back-to-school mindset this fall is full of mixed emotions.

“But,” Engelhardt told News10, “I know my kids are excited, and so am I, to go back to school in-person.”

Engelhardt’s kids are in 3rd, 6th, and 8th grades, and they’re all going back to their school buildings next week. But the preparation starts now, with the kids hand-selecting their masks.

“I think it’s cool for kids to feel good about what they’re wearing,” Engelhardt said. “It creates a little buy-in, too, if they get to choose it.”

Many schools will operate on a hybrid learning model, doing some classes in-person, and others remote.

Wearing a mask all day, though, will be an adjustment, so Engelhardt has practiced with the kids at home.

“We’ve been trying to build stamina with them,” Engelhardt explained, “they’ll wear it for half an hour, and then 45 minutes the next day.”

Engelhardt’s teacher instincts tell her to send the kids with a simple set of supplies on the first day. She says they just need the bare necessities until they get a feel for what the classroom will be like this year.

“A folder, a notebook, a couple pens and pencils, hand sanitizer, a couple masks just in case,” Engelhardt listed, “and a little pocket for them to put the mask when they’re not wearing it so it stays clean.”

While parents are prepping, so are administrators. In North Greenbush, the little red schoolhouse is opening their doors Tuesday to a small class.

“Right now we have 14 students,” Christine Hamill, Superintendent of the North Greenbush Common School District told News10, “that’s it for our kindergarten and first grade.”

Even though they’re a tiny school district, they’re still taking big precautions.

The Little Red Schoolhouse in North Greenbush is going back to school fully in-person, with 14 students and 2 teachers.

“We will do temperature checks at the door,” Hamill mentioned, “we, like everyone else, have to be very, very careful of our protocols and make sure we are monitoring everything that we do.”

A list of school district reopening plans within the News10 viewing area can be found here.


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