Students return to school at Ballard Elementary for the first time in months

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GANSEVOORT, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Students and faculty headed back to the classroom at Ballard Elementary after being closed since March because of the pandemic.

The faculty and staff at Ballard Elementary says it was a first day full of new beginnings.

Nicole Doyle says as a parent she was filled with mixed emotions when she sent her son Andrew off to school on Tuesday.

“I’m anxious to hear what he has to say about the masks. I’m anxious to hear about how different he says it was. He hasn’t been in school for 6 months, so to see how that’s changed in a 6 month period it’s very interesting,” explained Doyle.

After picking him up at the end of the day, she asked him how his first day went.

“It was good. I just thought the mask was very hot and sweaty,” said fifth grader, Andrew Doyle.

The faculty and staff of Ballard Elementary say these past couple of months have been an uphill battle. South Glens Falls Superintendent Kristine Orr says seeing the students back in person was a big weight lifted off her shoulders.

“You know there was so excitement this morning. You feel that when you work in education and that’s what you live for on opening day every year,” said Orr.

“When I came in this morning I was so excited. I think just seeing their faces and their excitement coming off the bus just made me feel like I was home again,” Kindergarten teacher Shannon Campoleta.

Campoleta says this school year is learning curve for everyone. She says inside a classroom every student was provided with a mask, and they each have individuals desks that are social distanced. In gym class the students are asked to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart.

Campoleta says it’s important everyday to remind her students of COVID-19 guidelines and prepare them for the future.

“Some of the students even came in with telling me what to do. So they definitely have that experience and exposure at home already with their parents preparing them for school,” said Campoleta.

Ballard Elementary says they are taking the school year day by day. But in case of an outbreak Superintendent Orr says they will go from in-person learning to remote.

But Campoleta says she is hoping that won’t be the case.

“I want to do everything possible to make sure we can stay in school as long as possible. Because their excitement their happiness, and their joy just makes us all not want to go through what we had too in March,” said she.

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