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LRSD teachers put finishing touches on classrooms as first day approaches

Monday marks the 3rd year that students and teachers in numerous central Arkansas school districts will be affected by COVID-19.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Monday marks the 3rd year that many classes in central Arkansas school districts will be affected by COVID-19.

For teachers like April Agnew, a 4th grade teacher at Gibbs Magnet School, she's ready for the new year.

"I'm expecting an amazing year. I always come in with a theme and this year is grace, grit, and growth," Agnew said. 

Agnew, like many teachers, has a lot of grit. Teaching during the pandemic was a testament to that.

"They can't do anything to change what's going on, but they still deserve a good education and they still deserve our best," she said.

Educators are motivated and aren't allowing the pandemic to stop them from doing just that – providing the best education possible. But, it does make it more difficult.

"A little bit more nervous because this is even different than what we dealt with during the past couple of rounds," Rhonda Adams, a facilitator for the Gifted & Talented program at Gibbs Magnet School, said.

For Adams, the past year was significantly harder than normal. Her class involves coursework that's difficult to teach over a computer.

"Almost 100% of my class curriculum is problem based, hands on," she said. "I can't tell you how excited students are. They're ready for that. They really missed that connection that you can't even get via Zoom. That's that missing piece, so they're excited to get back to it."

While the past year was tough, it did provide experience that Agnew said will help during the school year.

"I don't think there are as many unknowns, and because there aren't as many unknown it will be a little bit easier to make the changes that we need to make and do what we need to do," she said.

This may be the third year affected by COVID-19 and it may look different than before, but ensuring students stay safe won't change.

"At the top of my list: if we can't keep them safe and then they have to leave then they're missing out, so safety is key," Adams said. 


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