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FCPS optimistic about school year

By Cleo-Symone Scott

FRANKLIN

Students in Franklin didn’t have to travel far for their first day of school on Sept. 1. For the first time ever, Franklin City Public Schools began the school year with 100% virtual instruction. This completely virtual plan will be in effect until at least November. After that, the superintendent will recommend to the school board if it’s safe for students, teachers and staff to return to school on a hybrid schedule. Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused the FCPS administration to seek a different approach to the 2020-2021 school year, everyone remains optimistic.

Tanyeka Thornton, principal of S.P. Morton Elementary School, said, “they made history today by opening for the first time ever virtually.”

“We made history and we pushed through. Overall, it was a fantastic day. Students enjoyed seeing their teachers and teachers enjoyed seeing their students. Through the glitches and all, we made it,” she said.

Darren Parker, principal of J.P. King Jr. Middle School, said the virtual instruction could be looked at as a blessing or a curse, but he’s confident that his kids will continue to excel.

“The day is going by smoothly. We’re working as a team to make sure everything goes by well. We’ve been answering phone calls all day responding to parent’s concerns which was expected,” he said. “We’d like to thank our parents for being patient with us during these times. We will continue to put our best foot forward to educate our students.”

Travis Felts, principal of Franklin High School, said it feels awesome to be back, even though everything is virtual now.

“It is awesome to be back to school, even though it is virtual for now. The best part of my day was visiting teachers’ Zoom classrooms and seeing our students’ faces on the screen. It was nice to hear the interaction among our teachers and students,” he said. “We would all prefer to be in the building and teaching our students face-to-face, but for now this is the best and safest option. This year is off to an unusual kind of start, but our students and teachers are resilient. I continue to be amazed at how everyone has adjusted and is making the most out of a challenging situation. To sum it up, we had a great first day of school and we are determined to have a great school year regardless of the circumstances.”

Superintendent Tamara Sterling said she was amazed at how engaged the students were after visiting some Zoom classes.

“This virtual environment has shown that it is the adults that have to adapt to the children. Online learning is second nature to them and I’m very proud of how the day turned out,” she said. “Our teachers and administrators prepared for this since March and it is evident that we will continue to deliver excellence in-person or online. We are Franklin Strong!”

CLEO SYMONE-SCOTT is the communications and social media coordinator at Franklin City Public Schools. Contact her at 569-8111, ext. 5502 or email cscott@fcpsva.org.