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A look inside the first day of school at Clinton Elementary

The new semester has brought temperature checks, partner classes, extra lunchrooms and more.

CLINTON, Tenn. — Inside Stephanie Brock's classroom, first-graders at Clinton Elementary School spent Friday learning, not just about their new class, but also a list of new procedures to follow. 

"Did you see the special dots to stand on in the hallway?" Principal Jenna Sharp asked. 

Clinton City Schools returned to the classroom in shifts. 1st and 6th graders returned on Friday, with other grades to follow next week. 

"We can keep everybody safe, staggering them in and just getting them used to the way lunch looks different this year, the way recess looks different," Assistant Principal Abby Kidwell said. 

At lunchtime, students filed into the cafeteria where dots lined the floor and tables, marking where they should stand in line and sit to eat their lunch. Makeshift lunch rooms are already set up in other parts of the school to space out students when all grade levels return. 

"You've got a space to sit by a friend but still with a good social distance in between. The more visual for kids, the better," Kidwell said referencing the posters, social distancing circles, and markings that now decorate the school.

Kidwell said the majority of students opted for in-person learning over the virtual option, and they're implementing 'partner classes' to ensure students are only interacting with one additional class instead of an entire grade level.