INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — The first day of school is in the books in Indian River County, where school district leaders are hoping for a smooth year ahead with so much uncertainty around.
There were first day cheers inside a Glendale Elementary School classroom on Tuesday.
It looks similar to the end of last school year, but Superintendent Dr. David Moore said instead of COVID-19 receding into the rear-view, it’s still front and center.
Masks are not required of the kids. About half of the students WPTV saw Tuesday were wearing them.
"We went to highly recommended with the opportunity for parents to opt-out which aligns with the governor’s executive order," Moore said.
Moore said they’ll monitor how they’re doing with student and staff safety over the first few weeks, and that soon, the public will be able to track COVID cases from the district's website.
"Ultimately, we want our kids in school. We have all these mitigation factors in place to keep kids in school. The data was clear, you learn best when you’re in a classroom," Moore said.
"I didn’t get any sleep last night. I was nervous about oversleeping. I was just excited about meeting the kids," said Felice Bagley, the new principal at Pelican Island Elementary School.
When it comes to masks, Bagley hopes all students respect their peers choices.
"I would just say to parents, we are following safety protocols and that all of our students and staff are safe," Bagley said.
It’s an entire staff effort to make the school a home away from home, so kids aren’t learning from home again if they don’t have to or want to.