SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Thursday marked the first day of school for St. Andrew’s in Savannah.
Of course, the long awaited return to the classroom comes with plenty of changes to help keep everyone safe.
A familiar tune echoed in the air Thursday morning at St. Andrew’s School.
“Just hearing those bagpipes every time it just gets me you know?” Said parent of two St. Andrew’s student Erica Davis.
Maybe it's the bagpipes, or maybe it's because it's been so long.
“The longest spring break ever,” joked another parent.
But whatever the reason, everyone was excited to be back to school.
“The kids were so excited they actually said to their teacher they were glad to be back at school. She didn’t think they’d ever say that,” said Davis.
Although it may sound familiar things do look a little different this year. From mandatory masks to temperature checks and plenty of hand sanitizer. All to make sure they could safely bring kids back to the classroom.
“I think it’s challenging but I think it’s worth it. I think that we at St. Andrew’s are uniquely suited for for that challenge because we spend a lot time getting out of the box here. That’s kind of what we’re known for,” said St. Andrew’s head of Lower School Anne Weisel.
One of the ways they're getting outside the box is by getting outside.
“Outdoor classrooms. We already had a lot of good outdoor space but we’ve really but it up with fans and shade to make it able to be used for longer periods of time,” said Weisel.
Along with that they're using utilizing a cohort model, which basically means students won't be traveling to other classrooms, which will have it's advantages if someone gets sick.
“Because of the cohort model we feel very prepared should something happen. I feel like with small children the ability to quickly trace and identify is going to be the advantage with time,” Weisel says.
A plan it seems parents, like Davis, are confident in.
“I know they’re in good hands and they’re going to learn a lot this year. So, I’m excited they’re back.”
And maybe even a little relieved too.
“Thank God it’s back!” Laughed Davis.
Not all students came back for traditional learning Thursday at St. Andrew’s as they are offering a hybrid model as well if they didn’t feel comfortable returning quite yet.