Back to school: Baldwin Community Schools begin new year

'We are excited to be back in session'

BALWIN — It was with a sense of excitement students and staff at Baldwin Community Schools returned to classes on Friday, Aug. 13, after two academic-years disrupted by COVID-19, and a two-day delay caused by storm damage.

School was originally set to begin on Wednesday, Aug. 11, but a summer storm which rolled in Tuesday night caused extensive power outages throughout Lake County and extended areas, as well as roads blocked with fallen trees.

To welcome students back, the school hosted an event on Tuesday evening, Aug. 10, for parents and their children to meet teachers, grab a bite to eat and fill out paperwork.

Tenth-grader Krista Simmons was happy to return to school, especially for the chance to be around other students.

"I am excited I get to see my friends," she said.

After two years of COVID-19 restrictions, teachers also were glad to be back in the classroom.

"I am excited we are actually going to be with the kids as opposed to online," said Nicole McGahey, a high school science teacher.

Although students and staff can now meet for regular school sessions, Baldwin Community Schools will still require social distancing and for masks to be worn, to take precautions against the spread of the virus.

"We are ready to get back in the building, and we must continue to wear masks and do our best to keep social distanced," said Baldwin High School Principal Garth Cornwell.

Shawn Washington, president of the Baldwin Community Schools Board of Education, feels optimistic about the year ahead.

"We are excited to be back in session," Washington said. "On March 13, 2020, when the pandemic hit, the school went fully remote, which we have never done before. We did the best we could, understanding the students would be better with us. In August 2020, we were still remote up until March 2021.

"We are excited to finally be able to have students and staff back in the building, and we thank our community partners who help support the growth of our students. Our goal is to accelerate students to be college-ready, work-place ready, military-ready and life-ready for whatever challenges they may face."