Hancock County School District welcomes students and teachers on first day back

Students get a first taste of a modified school year and not wearing masks since the pandemic began.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 8:30 PM CDT
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KILN, Miss. (WLOX) - Hallways were filled with excitement. Students returned to school at East Hancock Elementary today.

“It’s been really, really exciting because some of my friends are in my class,” said student Natalie Troub. “It’s nice to see them. A lot of the teachers are very nice. They just make you feel welcomed. They’re not just piling on work. They let you get adjusted first.”

“The teachers are polite,” said student Kellan Phillips. “They want to understand you and get the best out of it.”

It wasn’t just the first day for students. Students said it’s also the first year they’ve started the school year without having to wear masks since the start of the pandemic.

“Of course with COVID, people had to wear masks,” added Troub. “Teachers were like you have to wear them. Now it’s still around but you don’t have to wear masks or do much.”

Students also got their first taste of a modified school year. Principal Grant Dickinson said he believes the new method will have a huge impact on learning and help reduce stress.

“I think it has incredible benefits on both sides,” Dickinson said. “The personnel and students. Everybody needs a break every now and then. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sprinter or a marathon runner. Starts and stops are great and it lets your body recharge, relax, rejuvenate and then go after whatever your next goal is.”

Dickinson said this year students will get one week off at the end of every 9 weeks, plus an extended Christmas break.

“I think it’s three weeks for Christmas,” he recalled. “We get a week off for Thanksgiving. We get a week off for Fall Break in October. Most districts are either Friday or Thursday and Friday so for us, we get that whole time. We have a week off in February which is really an extension of Mardi Gras, which is now becoming a week long. We’ve always had the week off for Spring Break. But the timing where each of them are, there is a nice pattern. Every month, there’s something to look forward to.”

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