Washington County schools welcome back students and teachers

Washington County

CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) — Washington County schools have reopened their doors to students, faculty, and staff.

The district, like many others in our area, has not held in-person classes since March.

Washington County’s Superintendent, Joe Taylor, said a lot of people were needed to make the first day of school happen. Taylor also said all of the district’s schools have given him positive feedback about the first day.

“Students are happy to be back, parents are happy to be back,” Taylor said. “Even with the rule changes we’ve had to put into place about social distancing and not being able to walk students into the schools, that’s all been accepted and understood and we seem to be going very well with it.”

The principal of Kate M. Smith Elementary, Lesa Burdeshaw, said the district has helped prepare their teachers with the necessary tools to start the new school year.

“Everybody’s got cleaning supplies, they’ve got hand sanitizer,” Burdeshaw said. “They’ve got everything they could possibly need and if they don’t have it, they’ve been told to tell me.”

Administrators at Kate M. Smith Elementary said it would not have been possible to reopen schools for in-person classes without the support of the Washington County community.

“Because of this community, it’s the parents and the teachers pulling together and understanding,” Burdeshaw said. “I had volunteers, school board members here, subs volunteering to help get kids to class.”

Superintendent Taylor said everyone is happy to be back and said he is extremely pleased with how everything has gone on the first day of school.

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