MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - Students are starting to return to the classroom in Moss Point for the first time this school year. Magnolia Middle School Principal Laquanta Nelson said the emphasis is being placed on cleanliness.
“We’re washing our hands. We have extra handwashing stations when you come in. We just got about 15 new hand sanitizing stations in," Nelson said. "We have an amazing custodial staff here who’s constantly cleaning. Teachers have been trained. It’s an all-hands-on-deck approach to keeping our scholars safe.”
Since August, students have been learning in virtual classrooms. Now Magnolia Middle School sixth grade student Shaun Bether is utilizing the same Chromebook he used at home, but now in a traditional classroom.
“I actually think we get a better learning experience because you’re not just writing things down. You actually have a place where you can not only memorize it but also go back and check it if you get a bad grade or something happens to it," Bether said. "So personally, yes, I think it is a good thing to have those Chromebooks for us to work on instead of pen and paper.”
On Monday and Tuesday, Bether along with the rest of the sixth grade will be the only students at Magnolia Middle School. Moss Point is phasing students in throughout the week with seventh and eighth graders joining Bether on campus come Wednesday.
“Me personally, I was actually pretty excited because I like school," Bether said. "Knowing that they actually think that we can handle the fact that things are going on and they can trust us. It’s actually very exciting.”
To help students with the transition to campus, Magnolia Middle School has created the Zen Den. It’s a relaxing area that Magnolia Middle School counselor Japonica Brown hopes students will visit to calmly overcome anxieties.
“We’re having to do a lot of different procedures and policies when they come back into the building to ensure everyone’s safety," Brown said. "If they’re having a tough time or need a place to just come and relax, I teach meditation here, breathing techniques, we have counseling sessions in here and it’s all for the students' wellbeing.”
All Moss Point students opting for traditional learning will be back on campus by Oct. 13.