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Corbett Schools welcome students to their first day back to in-person classes

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - Corbett Elementary School teachers welcome and guide students to their assigned classrooms.On the brisk Monday morning of Aug. 30, Corbett Elementary School opened its doors for the first day of 2021-22 school year.

The sun broke through the sky guiding students, parents and teachers back into the halls of Corbett's brick buildings.

Although last year Corbett students returned to in-person learning toward the end of the school year, many of these eager learners couldn't contain their excitement to return to classes.

Easton Randt's enthusiasm for his first day of school manifested itself through sporadic jumping. "I am really excited to learn the alphabet," Randt proudly said with his arms around his mom's leg.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - Chelsey Hargens takes a quick photo of her daughter Ella Hargens before she is taken to her first grade class. Randt was also happy to see his friends again. Although he couldn't remember how many pals he made last year, he seemed determined to make a lot of new ones.

Smiles were hidden behind masks, but the pure joy many of the students had was evident when they were reunited with friends at the drop-off zone. Nothing displayed that more than the running embrace Thomas Olmas gave to best friend Gage Zavoral. The fourth graders were excited to see each other after a summer-long hiatus.

Many parents were also elated to have a return to in-person teaching.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - Savannah ONeal shows younger brother and new kindergartener Jack ONeal the ropes on their first day. "He did surprisingly well in kindergarten distance-learning," said Samantha Knapp, mother of first grader Oliver Knapp. "But honestly we are so ready and excited to be back in school."

Oliver is looking forward to some of the things that he wasn't able to do last year. "I just want to go on a school trip, if we even do school trips anymore," Oliver said with a shrug.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - Best friends Gage Zavoral and Thomas Olmas share a hug before walking into class for their first day as fourth graders. With the face coverings and social distancing, it's hard to ignore the looming threat of the COVID-19 delta variant as it wreaks havoc in much of the country. However, parents seem confident in Corbett's ability to mitigate risks of outbreaks.

"Of course I am nervous, but Corbett is such a community driven place," Samantha said. "I feel like people will step up and wear masks and do what they have to."

While distance learning was key to keeping students on track, many also struggled without in-person supervision.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - Stephanie Tjaden guides her kids Kai and Brooklynne across the busy street."Last year was tough for us, so we were excited to return to full time," said Bethany Gelbrit, mom of second grader Heath Gelbrit. "We trust the school is doing the best they can to keep kids safe, but we can't help being a bit nervous."


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