Pecan Park Elementary welcomes students back

The 2020-2021 school year kicks off today for many students on the Coast, including the Ocean Springs School District.

Students were rolling into campus Thursday morning. For many, it’s the first time they’ve been back on campus since March. Principal Chris LeBatard of Pecan Park Elementary eagerly welcomed students back, thrilled about the start of the school year. “We’re excited about the first day of school, teachers have worked hard to get the classrooms set up, everything clean, everything set up. We have a good plan this morning. We’re really excited.”

Bus drivers, teachers, and students all must get their temperature checked before entering the school. Students will eat lunch in their classroom not in the cafeteria. “We will have several times throughout the day where students must stop, sanitize their hands, wash their hands with soap and water. We’re not going to intermingle in the classroom. We’re going to keep each classroom in their bubble if you would.”

Despite how hectic this year has been for faculty and staff, seeing the students reminds teachers of what makes this job worthwhile. Communications and Multimedia Coordinator Trey Brennan said, “The kids are the best part of the job. As stressful as this time is, whenever a student walks in your room, it goes away because that’s what they’re there for. It’s the kids.”

The Ocean Springs School District is encouraging parents to provide private transportation to limit coronavirus exposure on buses. The district is also in desperate need of crossing guards. Ocean Springs PD Sgt. Jonathan Carroll said, “We do need a few more. If anybody wants it, they can get on our city’s website or they can call our department and they get them the paperwork that they need.”

Crossing guards typically work 10 hours a week and the pay is $12.50 an hour.

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