LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Monday brought a long-awaited day for students and staff at Southern Middle School.
With decorations outside, Staff said Monday felt like the first day of school, as students returned for in-person learning after a fire during a basketball game caused a closure in early March. Principal Kevin Payne said it took a lot of collaboration, but he had no doubt it would all come together.
“We could not be in the building today without the work of Fayette County Public Schools, our community Servpro in general. Overall, they’ve done a really good job of getting this building prepared and safe for return,” Payne said.
LATEST KENTUCKY NEWS:
Because of that fire, several classrooms are currently boarded up. In the meantime, classes that were held in those rooms are being held in other temporary rooms. Even with these changes, students say they’re just glad to be back.
“I miss just being around other people. I hate like being isolated, and it’s just really nice to be around others and get to talk to my teachers better,” said eighth-grader Kate Borders.
“I’m glad to be back. It’s pretty fun to see my friends again there. You know, I just miss, like, being with them all the time. It’s weird being isolated because don’t really have anybody to talk to while I’m there,” added eighth-grader Devin Thompson.
During that cloture, staff were hard at work to keep the learning going, which required a switch from in-person to virtual learning, and then back again once the building was declared safe.
“We have a staff that can pivot very quickly, and I was amazed at how fast they were able to turn their classrooms from physical to virtual,” Payne said.
Students say they know they’re in good hands with the school’s staff, and they’ve learned a lot about adapting to unusual situations.
“I’m really thankful because I know it took a big process for them to clean up everything and get everything, like redone. The school and I think, you know, I’m just really thankful for them for doing that,” Thompson said.
“I miss just being around other people. I hate like being isolated, and it’s just really nice to be around others and get to talk to my teachers better,” Borders added.