XENIA — If the first day of school is any indication, Legacy Christian Academy is in for a smooth year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our first day has gone extremely well,” Superintendent Greg Scheck said via email Thursday. “This is the day that students have been looking forward to, especially since they have not been together since March.”
Legacy was the first Greene County school to open after months of preparation for “classes during coronavirus.” While it had a week or two less to prepare than other area districts, Legacy’s enrollment made for a somewhat simple transition.
“We have the advantage of being a smaller school, which makes it easier to adopt principles of social distancing,” Scheck said.
Teachers set up their rooms to allow as much spacing as possible, the school increased the number of lunch times in order to decrease the number of students in the cafeteria at any given time, it purchased additional outside eating tables in order to manage the number of students in the cafeteria, entrance doors for specific grade levels were established to manage flow of students, and all guests and visitors are screened before being allowed to enter and they must all wear masks.
“We realize we are treading new territory, and it will take some time to get used to the ‘new normal’ with the masks and the distancing,” Scheck said. “We are still in the process of fine tuning the schedule and coordination with the cafeteria as we work through the details of this situation.”
The morning started with an assembly, and it worked well, Scheck said. Spacing was increased between students and personal interaction was limited. And nobody seemed to mind.
“The students are very excited to be back together,” Scheck said. “I spoke with one fourth grader who declared that this first day of school is better than the week she had in Florida on vacation. We have such a strong sense of community here at LCA, and everyone has felt something missing with the separation we have had to practice for nearly five months now.”
One recurring question when districts discussed reopening was if students would commit to wearing masks.
“They value being in school and being with their friends and teachers,” Scheck said. “The kids are putting up with masks. I don’t know anybody who enjoys wearing a mask, but everyone is willing to do it because the kids want to be among their friends and they want to learn. The general consensus of all of us is that we would prefer not to wear the masks. If that’s what it takes to be able to be here in person then that’s what we’ll do.”
Scheck said being together is essential.
“God made us to be social creatures and the human interaction is a vital part of the educational process,” he said. “Our families are committed to giving their children a quality Christian education. They see the need for this, especially in this world that is being so torn and divided by different ideologies. We need to prepare our students to function in a world that is constantly changing and so diverse. We each believe in the essential value of being back together in person.”
With only one more day this week, Legacy will receive the weekend to reboot and assess. Most county districts begin on a Monday or Tuesday and won’t be able to tweak things so quickly.
“We are thankful that this first foray into the restart of school was a two-day week,” Scheck said. “Then, everyone can take the weekend to regroup so we can be ready for a full week.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.