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Vt. school holds 100th-day in-person pandemic party

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 5:50 PM EST
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ARLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Many elementary schools celebrate their 100th day of school, but this year a school in Arlington is celebrating their 100th consecutive day of learning in-person. Olivia Lyons shows us their pandemic party.

“We love school,” said Caroline Kinney, a kindergarten student at Fisher Elementary School in Arlington.

She was one of the 220 students celebrating the school’s 100th consecutive in-person learning days of school. One family even donated “I survived 100 masked school days” shirts for the occasion.

“When the virus is gone it will be much better,” Kinney said.

“That’s true,” responded teacher Jen Mckeighan, “but we are lucky we get to come every day.”

Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union Superintendent Bill Bazyk says at the beginning of the year the school’s goal was to make it to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. “And we did it, and that was exciting. Then, we said let’s try to get to Thanksgiving, and we did. Then, we said Christmas, and we did. Now, we’re after the February break and we’re trying to go the whole 170 days in person,” he said. Bazyk says there has been one COVID case in the school. “We were able to just keep that to one classroom, so the remainder of the school did stay open. And the community of Arlington has really done a great job following and adhering to the guidelines.”

The district’s grade 6 to 12 school did have to close because of a COVID case, so they did not make it 100 days, but their students all attend in-person four days a week, which Bazyk thinks is best. “When you can have the kids in school following the rules, washing their hands, wearing their masks, and so on and so forth, I think it’s far safer than to leave the responsibility up to a 17-year-old child who may or may not be making good decisions out in the community. But they need socialization,” he said.

“I’m really happy about things. About being able to be here for you guys in person, with these ladies and all of the other kids in our class,” Mckeighan said.

Principal Deanne Lacoste says they never could have done it without the community’s adherence to the guidelines, and they are hopeful for what spring will bring.

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