Excitement in the air: GRISD opens classes, with 1,970 students registered

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter
Glen Rose Elementary School had the usual mass crush of parents coming to pick up their young children Wednesday afternoon at the close of the first day of school.

The opening day for the Glen Rose Independent School District’s 2020-21 school year on Wednesday marked the end of what may have been the least enjoyable summer vacation ever — thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With all appropriate safety precautions in place, all campus sites opened to the students whose parents indicated they will be attending classes for in-person learning on campus.

As of press time, there were 1,970 students registered in all, kindergarten through 12th grade, across the four campus sites.

The 234 students (12%) who previously took the option via a survey to remain home and participate in online learning because of the COVID-19 concerns also got started.

It marked the first on-campus classes since spring break in March, when the schools were shut down and at-home remote learning was implemented.

Glen Rose Superintendent Wayne Rotan voiced what may have been a near-unanimous sentiment of being excited for the return.

“Glen Rose ISD had an awesome start to the 2020-21 school year,” said Rotan, who recently had announced he will be retiring from the GRISD at the end of the fall semester. “It was a very welcome sight to see students and staff back on campuses for the first time since March 6, 2020.

“In my 30-plus years as an educator, I don't think I have ever been so excited to get a school year started. My sincere appreciation to the students, staff, parents, school board and community for making this day possible.”

The GRISD website states that, under the current COVID-19 statistical conditions and Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders — “for all staff and students, grades 5-12, masks/face shields will be required for all staff and students when social distancing is not able to be maintained.”

Also, access to the buildings on each campus is restricted to only students, teachers, administrators and other GRISD staff members and employees because of COVID-19 precautions.

More detailed information can be found on the GRISD website on topics including: COVID-19, student apps, school registration, pre-K parent involvement, student handbooks, student code of conduct, breakfast and lunch menus, a parent toolkit, staff listings and sports schedules, plus frequently asked questions.

The GRISD website also noted that the original start to the school year was moved up by one week, from Aug. 19 to Aug. 12. The final day of the school year is now set for May 26, 2021.