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“Joy In The Air" On Eugene Students’ First School Day


This week, kindergarteners and first graders in Bethel and Eugene are going into their classrooms for the first time since the pandemic shutdown.


It was a joyful morning at Cesar Chavez Elementary School as parents dropped off their kids for orientation. Chavez is hosting short sessions this week for students to see what it’s like entering the building, being in class, and going to recess under COVID protocols. 

Principal Deirdre Pearson said teachers have built relationships remotely, but they’re excited to see kids in person. “Usually on the first day of school for kindergartners we have a few who hang back, who maybe cling to their mom’s leg, or who cry," Pearson told KLCC. "None of that today, absolutely none of it. Every single child has arrived, waved goodbye to their parents and stepped right up.”


One parent told Pearson it felt like Christmas morning. After next week’s spring break, these students will start a hybrid schedule, and be in the building two days per week, and 2nd through 5th graders will have orientation before their hybrid learning starts April 5th.


Credit Karen Richards
Principal Deirdre Pearson greeted students Monday at Cesar Chavez in Eugene.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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