OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — A day known for nerves comes with added uncertainty this year.

“We just felt like the data backed up us being able to do this. Our community wanted it.”

Owensboro Catholic Principal Gates Settle is welcoming students back the way most principals in western Kentucky can’t, face to face.

“When it started becoming clear that masks seem to be the determining factor we thought we could do this.”

One of the few schools with students not only on the first day, but also scheduled for a traditional five days a week, Settle and teachers at Owensboro Catholic have some added responsibilities.

Every teacher and student received a temperature check Wednesday morning before they were allowed inside.

“We feel like it’s important to do that for the kids and for our staff, to make sure no one has any fever to begin with. Then we’ll other questions to see if they have any other symptoms,” said School health assistant Cheryl Jarboe.

A new routine that will be repeated every day.

Classrooms will are having dividers installed as space is the key word.

“The kids are going to be sitting apart at lunches. The social part of that is going to change a little bit. Normally this is a social place and kids will come together and group together. We’re going to have to limit that,” described Settle.

The staff admits less interaction means less of a connection. The idea is for changes in the building instead of making the biggest change: Classes from home.

“If we’re going to have to shut down for a couple of weeks, we’ve got a non-traditional virtual learning setup. We’re prepared for what happens. We’re just praying for the best.”

With the first day in the books that’s how these educators plan to gauge success this year.

One year at a time.

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 26, 2020)