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Hillsborough County teachers return to work to prepare for new school year

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 17:48:40-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Students in Hillsborough County are less than a month from heading back to class. On Friday, teachers returned to work to prepare for the first day of school.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for 155 days,” said Kathy Hill, a 5th grade teacher at Mitchell Elementary School. “This classroom’s been empty since March 23, and I couldn’t wait to get back up.”

Hill and other teachers in Hillsborough County Public Schools were welcomed back to school to start pre-planning and setting up their classrooms. Hill’s classroom will soon get a makeover.

“We’re going to take the tables out and put in desks, and hopefully it’ll be about 3 to 4 feet apart,” said Hill. “We’ll still have the opportunity to have discussions and stuff like that.”

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Hill is also changing the orientation of her room and reducing her classroom library. Every classroom in the school will have a station with sanitizer, masks, gloves and wipes.

“We have almost 500 kids returning and about 190 that are eLearning, so we’re very excited about that,” said Mitchell Elementary Principal Renee Best. “Most of our teachers wanted to come back.”

The school placed paw prints in the hallways for students to know where to walk. Paw prints are also placed six feet apart for teachers waiting to sign in and get their temperature checked.

Hill said she’s not concerned about her health, and she’s also ready to implement new health measures with the help of students, who she thinks will quickly adapt.

“We’ll have some new things that we have to go through, and some procedures and stuff like that, but it’s amazing what kids can do. People don’t give them enough credit,” said Hill.

The school start date for Hillsborough County Public School students was pushed back two weeks to August 24.