By: Susan Gum // September 4th, 2020 // Stories
After leaving campus 170 days ago and spending countless hours planning for this day, Delmarva Christian Schools is now celebrating with the return to in-person instruction. New high schoolers began arriving to the Georgetown Campus on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, and eight days later, Delmarva Christian Milton Campus students followed suit when they entered their school doors on August 26.
“We have an incredibly dedicated team of board, administration, faculty, and staff members who have helped prepare for what I believe will be a powerful school year,” said DCS Head of School Matt Kwiatkowski. “Having everyone return back to both our Georgetown and Milton campuses at the onset of the 2020-2021 school year is huge! Our parents and students are very appreciative of our efforts and we are so excited to see God’s plan unfold before us.”
The first day of school was dedicated to new high school students who spent half-a-day setting up accounts and downloading apps for their iPads and other technologies. Team-building exercises such as a life-sized, outdoor Foosball game was also organized for the students. On Wednesday, the entire high school student body arrived to gather class schedules and learn about new technologies, course expectations, and safety protocols. Time was also spent reuniting with friends and teachers.
“I felt the first few days went very well considering the numerous changes to normal daily school life,” said Dean of Students Mary Beth Rimmer. “Students and their families were very accommodating and accepting of the restrictions placed and there was an overall sense of calm and unity.”
Delmarva Christian Milton Campus (DCMC) opened one week later with half-day classes. Teachers and staff greeted their PreK through 8th-grade students in the parking lot and escorted them inside to their classes.
“The students were wonderful, even our little Pre-kindergarteners,” said DCMC Principal Drew Jensen. “Everyone came in, met their teachers, organized their supplies, and then spent time getting acquainted and/or reacquainted with one another. They did all of this while comfortably practicing safety protocols.”
The overall consensus at both campuses is that the transition from virtual learning back to in-person instruction has been relatively smooth even with the changes and challenges of implementing CDC guidelines.
“It seems that students are so happy to be back in school that they respect and comply with the many changes that have been made,” said Administrative Assistant Pip Craig. “Parents have been overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging as we navigate these uncharted waters. We have had a great start to the year!”
Throughout the return to campus, Mr. Kwiatkowski has and continues to be mindful of the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental wellness of everyone by putting in place measures to ensure wellness.
“Certainly we are taking all CDC guidelines and COVID-19 research into consideration when forming our policies on face coverings, social distancing, and sanitation protocols,” continued Kwiatkowski. “We also have teams consisting of educators and healthcare experts who are working diligently—always with the goal of safety and learning at the forefront.”
DCMC Director of Instruction Jessica Baugh followed by saying, “While we worked diligently to implement protocols and practices compliant with guidance and research, our first day was not defined by these changes. Rather, the buzz of first-day-happiness and a love of learning was still very present. As usual, and arguably even more so this year, our first day was defined by laughter, smiles (behind a mask, of course), and joy!”
Above: Ready for first grade to begin, DCMC student Violet Nickerson introduces herself to her teacher and fellow classmates.