Buena Park School District buzzed with excitement as 1,454 students reunited with old friends and favorite teachers for the first day of in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year.
Students were welcomed to the District’s eight schools by scores of teachers and administrators eager to have them back after nearly eight months of virtual instruction.
Each campus was fortified with protections to shield against COVID-19, including hand sanitizer stations, transparent desk shields, physical distancing markers and temperature checks.
“We’re so excited to have our students back,” Corey School Principal LaRonda Ortega said. “We’ve been waiting for this day – there’s so much excitement in the air. We are pleased to continue to serve some of our students through distance learning, we’re so happy to get kids back on campus so we can start feeling like a school again.”
Students attend school in morning and afternoon shifts, allowing the District to cap elementary class sizes at 16 students and middle schools at 17 students. When students are off campus, they engage with teachers via continued online instruction.
“Having students back on campus drives up everyone’s energy levels. Our teachers feed off that energy, which creates a positive atmosphere and inspires student success,” Beatty Middle School Principal Erik Bagger said.
For additional childcare after regular school hours, students can sign up for the Titan After School Education and Safety program, which pairs Cal State Fullerton students with Buena Park School District students for academic assistance and mentoring.
Corey, Emery and Pendleton school students can enroll in Kid Connection, an after-school program that provides homework help, computer classes and fun activities for developing social skills.
“I was nervous but excited for my son because he definitely wants to be back in school,” said Cecilia Torres, parent of a Buena Park Middle School seventh-grader. “All the safety measures the school has put in place makes me and my husband feel good about in-person classes.”
Whitaker Principal Stephanie Williamson said she was glad to finally have students back on campus. She thanked the community for being patient and supportive as students transitioned from distance learning to in-person classes.
“It’s amazing to have students back on campus because you can feel the positivity and warmth,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “We have an abundance of safety protocols in place to make sure our students stay safe and healthy as they once again ignite the passion for learning in person.”
BUENAPARK_FIRSTDAY1: Corey School students sit at physically distanced desks, which also are divided by transparent plastic shields, as they prepare to learn on the first day of in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year.
BUENAPARK_FIRSTDAY2: Beatty Middle School students listen to their first in-class lesson of the school year with desks spaced out and shielded with transparent dividers.