Plainedge School District begins in-person classes with new health, safety rules in place

It was the first day of school for some children on Long Island - Plainedge is the first district in Nassau County to welcome back students.
Wednesday marked the first day back for most students in the Plainedge School District -- all elementary school students were able to return to the classroom, while half of seventh and eighth-graders, as well as high school students were able to.
They are following an A/B schedule, so on Wednesday half of the student body is in the classroom, while the other half distance learns from home. Thursday, they'll switch. All families were given the option for kids to learn remotely.
Dr. Edward Salina, the superintendent of Plainedge Public Schools, told News 12 Long Island he couldn't have been happier with how the first day started, with students that hadn't been in a classroom with their teachers for nearly six months.
"We've been waiting for this day since the day she was born, and I really didn't picture her leaving for school with a mask on her face," said Christina Ginter, who's daughter was starting her first day of kindergarten at Eastplain School.
If you looked --there were little reminders of how the first day of school used to be — first day photos, walks to school with friends, yellow buses as far as the eye can see—but almost everything about heading back to the classroom this fall is different.
It seems parents like Ginter did their job getting their kids ready, they just forgot to do the same for themselves!
Ginter said, of Peyton, "She seems OK with it. I'm the one shaking here!"
For Peyton and other students, following procedures and dealing with barriers put in to place to keep them six—and in some cases 12 feet apart - from their friends was the last thing on their minds.
"Excited! I'm excited to see my friends but tense about a lot of math," said Eastplain Elementary student Samantha Gangi.
Fellow Eastplain Elementary School student Justin Brown added, "I want to learn more stuff like about reading because I'm a tiny bit bad at reading. Don't you worry! I gotta get better at that!"

The one thing students and parents weren't thrilled about were masks. Students and teachers must wear them at all times, except on designated mask breaks and at lunch. Students said a summer of wearing masks has them ready to wear them for a full day of school, though.
"I wear one 8 hours a day at work so it shouldn't be an issue," said Plainedge High School Senior Kristi Ciuffo.
"It doesn't phase her! Honestly! It doesn't seem to phase her. She puts her mask on when we ask her," said Ginter of Peyton.
A lot of changes and so much to get used to but positive outlooks were shared by those many are worried the most about.
Plainedge High School Junior Daniel Freeman said, "it's going to be an experience but we are going to make the best of it."