Students Kick Off the Year Outside


Mrs. Morrissey helps a sixth grader find his team.

An extraordinary year began in an extraordinary way — outside.

“I liked the welcome,” said 6th grader Tony Fanozio. “It helped calm a lot of my nerves, and it was pretty cool having all the teachers greet you outside.”

Due to COVID-19, Liberty started the year in a hybrid/remote schedule. Only half the students could come each day. So, there had to be two first days of school.

And, all you had to do was remember your team and you were good. All the teachers stood outside along with volunteer 8th graders who held up signs to help the kids find their teachers.

“I was kind of nervous at first,” said 7th grader Chase Schomber. “But the welcome really helped.”

Over the summer, the staff worked hard to come up with a plan to make the first day of school the least stressful as possible. So, they came up with teams. There are three teams per grade, so nine in all. Teams, or cohorts, made it possible for students to stay in one classroom all day and to limit the number of contacts with other people.

“It is a little weird not being able to see all the kids this year,” said 6th-grade teacher Mrs. Bevis-O’Neal. “The classes are a lot smaller and I have to teach both kids in and out of the classroom.”

The teaming model helped organize all the kids and promote a more competitive vibe throughout the school that we are missing because of the lack of sports. Teams took advantage of the situation and had fun competing against each other during Paint the Town Gold week. The team that raised the most money was Team 81, with more than $500.