Thomas Jefferson Elementary prioritizing ‘getting the learning going’ in 2021

Emerson Lehmann is live at Thomas Jefferson Elementary on the first day of school
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 3:50 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Having been awarded the Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing National Blue Ribbon by the U.S. Department of Education in 2020, Principal Brent Johnson and his staff at Thomas Jefferson Elementary are looking forward to having students back in the classroom for what they’re hoping will be a more normal 2021-22 school year.

“Our teachers and paraprofessionals are such heroes,” Johnson exclaimed. “For all the modifying and adjusting that they did last year, I am elated to have what we would term a normal school year and get back to really helping out kids; socially and emotionally, academically. Getting them back in our building and helping them to get reacclimated and get back on track to what is graduation and their future careers.”

Johnson hopes that the ‘normal’ can include bringing back fun events like school assemblies and cultural nights at Thomas Jefferson Elementary.

With COVID-19 cases surging across the country, the CDC has recommended that masks be worn in school settings. The Wausau School District has made mask-wearing optional for students and staff.

“They (parents) can make an informed decision for themselves on whether they would like their child or themselves to wear a mask,” Johnson said. “Our employees are in that same category. We’re also doing hand-washing and sanitization routines keeping up from last year and when we can, having students spaced out but we’re prioritizing getting the learning going.”

Johnson went on to commend his staff, the students, and teachers for pushing forward during challenging times.

“Students, parents, teachers, all of our staff are amazing,” Johnson said. “We adjusted in everything the world could throw at us and we continue to care and move forward and educate students. I can’t wait to get back to doing that in person on a more normal basis.”

Emerson Lehmann speaks with Wausau School District Superintendent Dr. Keith Hilts on the first day of school

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