Millington, Lakeland students the first in Shelby County returning to school since the start of the pandemic

Millington students go back to school 6p

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (WMC) - School started for a few thousand students in Shelby County Monday.

Lakeland School System and Millington Municipal School District are the first two municipal districts to go back to class.

Only a fraction of the more than 800-person student body at Millington Central High School reported to in-person class Monday. Students had the choice of a hybrid schedule or an all virtual one.

Millington Students go back to school 5p

Masks, social distancing markers and sanitation were all involved on day one.

“Students are excited. They’re excited to us, to see their friends because some of them has not been able to interact,” said Millington Central High School Principal Mark Neal. “They have to do it from six feet apart.”

That’s just one new thing for Millington students to get used to as they are some of the first students in Shelby County to go back to class during the pandemic.

“What we usually do is thrown out the window,” said Millington Director of Schools James Griffin.

Students in Millington and Lakeland start class today

Now, markers line the hallways to show the direction for students to walk and the space to keep between each other. Classrooms are more empty as teachers were asked to leave extra materials at home and most classes are 10 students or less. Blue buckets are seen in nearly every room filled with PPE and cleaning supplies.

“As students are transitioning because we are transitioning from one class to another, in that five minute time period desks are properly disinfected,” said Neal.

“Our cleaning crew has been wiping and cleaning (everything like) the door handles,” said Lakeland Elementary School Principal Joretha Lockhart.

Lakeland School System also started Monday.

Nearly 80 percent of the students at Lakeland Elementary School chose a traditional schedule.

“We’ve been waiting on this day since March,” said Lockhart.

Millington did not offer a traditional, five-day week of in person classes, but nearly 60 percent of its student body picked a hybrid schedule that includes half in-person instruction and half online.

“I’m glad they’re back in school, I just hope no COVID outbreak happens here,” said one Millington parent.

While Lakeland and Millington had different schedule options, many of the protocols are the same. Masks must be worn by students and staff, and most visitors, including parents, are not allowed past the main office.

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