Classes resumed for Moss Point School District with mask mandate in place

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:52 PM CDT
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - The back-to-school countdown ended for most schools Wednesday. Like many other schools in South Mississippi, the Moss Point School District returned with a mask mandate in place for students and staff.

“I feel like last year we kept exposures down because we had masks and we provided social distancing in the eating areas and in the classrooms, so we’re going to follow suit with that again this year,” said Moss Point High School Principal David Graves.

With the sound of the bell, students fill the halls of Moss Point High School. Graves said it took a lot of planning to see all his students back in person.

“Biggest determining factor was performance,” Graves said. “Teachers and administrators and students themselves, even after the first semester, some even requested to come back because they just knew that their academic performance was suffering by being virtual.”

Students weren’t the only ones walking the halls on the first day of school. Superintendent Shannon Vincent and Assistant Superintendent Oswago Harper walked the halls as well, greeting students and even assisting some find their classes.

To keep students in the building, signs enforcing both masks and social distancing are posted throughout the school. Inside classrooms, teachers said it makes a difference when students are learning in person. Carol Adkins teaches high school English and believes students are more focused and engaged.

“The students really need that hands-on, working with them one on one in the classroom physically to be as productive as we possibly can,” said Adkins.

Adkins also went on to say a better relationship between teachers and students is formed in the classroom.

“After they finish my class they get to call me momma, and at first it was my 2015 graduates,” Adkins said. “It’s such an honor for kids to think of me as a mom, and for some kids, we spend the majority of the time with them. I wish I could teach all ninth-grade students because it is the beginning of high school so that I could have the relationship-building opportunity with all of them.”

Many students haven’t seen one another in months and said it feels good to be back.

“It was fun,” said Aniya Ainsworth. “I mean because being locked in the house with quarantine and COVID and all of that, it just was nice having everyone in arms reach.”

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