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North Bellmore schools reopen with high spirits

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Desks throughout the North Bellmore School District had new plastic barriers, but they also had students for the first time since mid-March after the five elementary schools opened on Sept. 9.

While the 2020-21 school year began during the Covid-19 pandemic, the district created a thorough reopening plan to ensure that students and staff could return to a safe and healthy learning environment. At the entrances to each school, teachers showed students how to use touchless thermometers that took their temperature by reading their wrists.

After students settled into their classrooms, Saw Mill Road Principal Jeff Rosof addressed the school over the P.A. system for some welcoming remarks, the Pledge of Allegiance and a few announcements.

“It’s going to be different, but we know it’s still going to be a great school year,” he said. “We know there are smiles underneath those masks.”

In AnnMarie Gilroy’s class, her sixth graders spoke excitedly about being reunited after nearly six months of remote instruction and summer break. Many of them have set goals for the year, both in terms of academics and personal growth. Alyssia Bedessi summed up the feelings of her class, which is ready to embrace the changes and determined “to try to make the best of the year.”

The district is also offering an alternate virtual learning model for students, with online classes taught by certified North Bellmore teachers following the same curriculum as in-person instruction.

— Courtesy North Bellmore School District; compiled by Andrew Garcia