Back-to-School Thoughts

As the 2020-2021 school year starts off, here is what some of our local teachers and students have to say about returning to school. This school year presents unusual challenges, but so far technology and creative solutions are helping our schools meet in person.

For example, Fairview Elementary teacher Kayla Vine decorated her 1st grade classroom to turn desk shields into a more fun and inviting place for her students. Listen to her perspective here:

Decorated, widely spaced desks in a classroom.
With a small class, students are able to have lots of room between their desks, which helps with physical distancing.
Closeup of “windows” and curtains on the side of a desk shield.

Her “Home Sweet Classroom” themed decorations helps turn the desk shields and other requirements into something friendly and engaging for the students, which is great! She said her students really liked having their own “rooms” at their desks. (Classroom photos courtesy of Kayla Vine.)

Each desk shield is decorated with windows and curtains to make it a more fun space for the kids.

Over the past several months, video calls have become standard. Even as schools begin the school year on-location, many lessons are recorded for students.

Kyle, 8th grade, Sidney Middle School:


Many students are happy to see their friends in person again, and welcome the break from remote learning.

Malia, 4th grade, Rau Elementary:


Some high schoolers commented on the difficulties of distance learning this past spring and how they are glad to be back.

Josie and Emily, Sidney High School:

Brandon, Sidney High School:


This year is definitely different, but it is good to hear students being positive about getting back to school!