Wichita high school teacher, student excited for full return to classroom Monday

Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - For the first time in more than a year, middle and high school students in the state’s largest district will make a full return to the classroom Monday.

Wichita Public School students who want to go back full time now can, but also have the option to continue remote learning.

“I am excited, I can’t wait for all the kids to be back,” Northwest High School teacher Jennifer Pickler said.

Pickler said she feels confident in returning to full, onsite learning and that the district provided staff with everything they need to keep students and themselves safe.

“As teachers we wanted the opportunity to get vaccinated and we have had that opportunity,” she said. “I just got my second dose last weekend, so I think we are all feeling good, excited and ready to have the kids back.”That excitement is mutual for some students. “It was the best news I’ve heard in a long time,” Northwest senior Zac Daher said. “Going back in school means we don’t have to rely on ourselves for a schedule every day and it’s the structure we’ve been lacking for a whole year.”

Two weeks ago, the district’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 183 quarantines out of more than 7,700 staff and students. Another factor that will help the district, is that starting Monday, those 16 and older can now get vaccinated in Sedgwick County. It’s an opportunity one senior said he’s taking advantage of.

“I am definitely for it, I want to be protected from COVID and from everyone in public,” Daher said. “I want to get back to normal as fast as possible and this is the first step so I’m really happy we are able to get that now.”

Wichita Public Schools will continue face mask requirements for students and staff until the end of the school year.

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