McLoud teachers, students return to school

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

Students and educators of McLoud Public Schools returned in-person for the 2021-2022 school year Tuesday, Aug. 3.

According to Interim Superintendent Rhonda Hockenbury, this year the district will implement COVID-19 safety measures resembling the ones from the previous school year.

"Our COVID Return to Learn Plan is very similar to what it was last year when we left," Hockenbury said. "Obviously we are taking extra precautions with cleaning, with fogging things, with using antibacterial and having kids wash hands and use the hand sanitizer."

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In addition, MPS are recommending masks this year, not enforcing them, she said, and suggesting people maintain awareness of coronavirus symptoms and getting tested when needed.

McLoud High School sign.

As of last spring, Hockenbury said more then 60 percent of MPS staff members were vaccinated, but that number could have gone up over the summer.

While the district has to continue monitoring the pandemic, Hockenbury explained the district is familiar with adapting to COVID-19 and prepared to keep everyone safe.

"I just think that we're more aware of things to look out for. Unfortunately, we've become pretty skilled at the contact tracing and taking all the precautions and the cleaning processes," she said.

She feels students are excited to return to in-person learning and to see their peers and teachers.

"Hopefully we're not battling games being missed and concerts being canceled because I think those extra curricular actives are super important for our kids," Hockenbury said.

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The interim superintendent is looking forward to being back at school and taking on a new role within the district.

"I'm just looking forward to getting kids back and getting after it," she said.

Hockenbury explained the McLoud Board of Education will discuss the hiring process of a new superintendent at their next meeting Aug. 9.

Check back for updates.