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Alcoa City Schools welcome students back to classrooms full time

Alcoa City Schools has been back in session for two months, marking the first school system in East Tennessee to begin class back in July.
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 10:18 PM EDT
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ALCOA, Tenn. (WVLT) - Alcoa City Schools has been back in session for two months, marking the first school system in East Tennessee to begin class back in July. Now faculty, staff and teachers have welcomed more students back in the classroom.

“At first it started off a little hectic because of the virtual learning but now that they’re back in school every day, it’s been a whole lot better to be honest," said Selisha Corpening.

Balancing work and finding care made virtual learning challenging for Corpening and her five kids.

“I think it’s hard for us as parents to do the virtual learning thing," said Corpening.

She’s glad her Alcoa City Schools students have returned to the classroom five days a week.

“I feel very confident," said Corpening, "I’m sure the teachers are relieved too, haha.”

“It’s good to have them back," said Rebecca Stone, "We’re real excited about that. We just keep our fingers crossed and say lots of prayers that we don’t get sick and our sickness is minimal.”

All traditional learners have been back for just over a week. There’s been one new COVID-19 case in the school system in that time. Nine people at Alcoa Middle School have been asked to quarantine or isolate.

“Honest to goodness we take it day by day," said Stone.

For her, it’s been a tough year as the Director of Schools.

It’s hard to plan. It’s hard to project what it’s even going to look like because everything changes," explained Stone.

Assigned seating, additional cleaning, and handwashing still top priorities to help keep everyone safe.

Even some students who initially opted for virtual learning left it behind to return to the classroom.

“I don’t think the anxiety has decreased by no means," said Stone, "But I think just kind of knowing what to expect now. You know we’ve been dealing with this for awhile. Parents see the importance of their children in school and actually being back to some kind of normalcy.”

Corpening was grateful for these measures and more to have her students back in the classroom full time.

“Alcoa Schools are on top of their game as far as keeping our kids safe," explained Corpening, “I’m excited that these kids are back rolling. And I’m just praying that these kids stay COVID-free.”

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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