Kern Valley Elementaries and Middle Schools Make a Come-Back! (2021)


This past month, elementary and middle school students returned to in-person schooling! After a long, hard time of Zooming for these students, they can enjoy the classroom and see their teacher face-to-face. 

For a while, the elementary students had gone to in-person and then back to distance learning on and off, whereas the middle school students had to stay on Zoom the entire time. Finally, after about a full year, the middle school students were able to go back, enjoy the campus, and meet new people! This year was especially important for the 6th and 8th graders. 6th-grade students were able to experience what middle school is like for the first time, and 8th-grade students were given the chance to say goodbye to their campus before they graduate and go off to high school.

When asked about why he was happy to go back to in-person campus learning, 6th-grade student Evan Brooks states, “I was able to meet new people and see my teacher in person! It’s been fun because I’ve been the Spelling Bee champ for a while now!” His teacher Mrs. Halsell, knows how to make the classroom fun and exciting, even when they have to wear masks, such as having a weekly Spelling Bee.

Taking a look at the elementary students, they’ve been able to play on the playground, and really just enjoy the class experience! Although they are only at school for about 3 hours, it doesn’t matter to these students, as they “love to play with their friends, and do math on the whiteboards,” a 3rd-grade student says.

Not just the students are happy, too! Teachers were excited about students returning as they felt they were able to properly do their job and have fun face-to-face with the students. 3rd-grade teacher Ms. Fankhauser states, “While the transition back to in-person teaching has had its own challenges, I believe, overall, it has positively impacted both my students and myself […] I have been able to take advantage of the smaller classroom size to address my students’ academic and social needs more efficiently, and have seen marked improvement from the start of the year. It is clear that most of my students are excited just to be in a classroom again, in a happy environment with friends where they feel confident, secure, and capable.” Truer words were never spoken! As most teachers agree, this is better for the students and it makes them happy!

Pam Alten, a 4th-grade teacher in the valley, comments, “Having students at school, in the actual classroom, has reminded me of why I am a teacher. An educator needs to see the growth and improvement of students, and that can be so inspiring! […] I am so very thankful to have students physically in the classroom.”

We are so glad for these students and teachers, as finally after a year, they can go back to in-campus school learning, and have fun! High school students will return soon, but for now, congratulations to the elementary and middle school students! Have fun!