ELYSIAN FIELDS — The first Harrison county students returned to their classrooms on Monday as Harleton and Elysian Fields ISDs had their first day of school for the 2020-21 school year.

After more than five months out of the classroom, students were masked up and ready for class on Monday.

“We have had an amazing day,” Elysian Fields ISD Assistant Superintendent Monica Simmons said on Monday. “I’d say this was almost our smoothest first day of school ever. Parents were friendly and everyone worked together.”

Simmons said despite a host of new guidelines and rules — including a mask requirement for all students older than 10 years old, and temperature checks before boarding buses or entering school buildings — students and parents were prepared and compliant.

“Even with the different situation and extra precautions, the students just came prepared and everything flowed so cohesively,” Simmons said. “Everybody knew what to do and where to go and no one was bothered by the temperature checks or masks.”

Simmons said she believes both students and parents were just excited to be able to return to school.

“I think the children were really ready to come back to school and parents are excited to have them learning,” Simmons said. “I think everyone is just excited to have a little return to normalcy. It was a great first day.”

While the future of the school year remains uncertain due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Simmons said the district will continue to have a positive outlook and take things day by day.

“We are going to take one day at a time,” she said. “We had an amazing first day and we hope to have an amazing second day tomorrow. We will continue to take it day by day and do what’s best for our students.”

At Harleton ISD, Harleton ISD Superintendent Jay Ratcliff said the Wildcats too had a smooth first day.

“We are so proud of our students, staff and parents,” Ratcliff said Monday. “Today was very smooth. It was wonderful to see our buildings become a school again. We are excited to get back to education.”

Waskom ISD returns on Wednesday and Marshall and Hallsville ISDs return on Thursday.

Jefferson and Karnack ISDs return on Monday.

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