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Clinton Elementary teachers prep for staggered start to the school year

"I feel really good. I feel like we've done our due diligence in our preparations, so actually I'm excited."

CLINTON, Tenn. — The first day of classes is just around the corner for students enrolled at the three elementary schools that make up Clinton City Schools, and teachers are busy preparing for what's bound to be an unusual school year. 

"I feel really good. I feel like we've done our due diligence in our preparations, so actually I'm excited," Clinton Elementary School first-grade teacher Stephanie Brock said. 

She said her biggest challenge in setting up her classroom was spacing out the 18 desks. Brock said her students will each have their own mat that they will sit on whenever they do work spaced out on the floor. 

Down the hall, Lauren Murphy set up her classroom for her new class of sixth graders. Murphy said that she had to rethink nearly all of her typical classroom procedures. 

"Even something like turning in papers," Murphy said. "You can't have 15 kids over at the same paper tray turning things in. So, it was just rethinking little things like that." 

While there are several noticeable changes like plexiglass, hand sanitizer stations, and plenty of new procedures, Murphy said she's most looking forward to the mindset that Clinton Elementary School has adopted for the new year: #Lovethemfirst. 

"The testing when you first enter school, that's pushed back a little bit. That's really not important this year,  It's about the children's well being and mental health.  Nutrition could be lacking for some students, and so there are all these other concerns that are coming first right off the bat," Murphy said. 

Both teachers said they're excited to have kids in the classroom again and feel like the school system prepared them for how to conduct class safely. 

To read the complete reopening plan for Clinton City Schools, CLICK HERE.