SUMMIT The first hours were hectic, but by midday Monday, masked children were reading, solving problems in math class and walking through the halls of Summit Elementary with their hands held primly together, as though they had been in school since August.

“All our kids want to be here so they are trying extra hard to social distance and keep their masks on. It’s a great first day back,” said second-grade teacher Chris Wallace.

Boyd County schools returned to in-person classes Monday, two weeks after most other schools did, and the extra time helped, Summit principal Sean Stewart said. “We needed the extra time to make sure everything was in place. And we wanted to see what goes on in the other schools,” he said.

Observing what worked and what didn’t in other districts assisted Boyd leaders to “adjust on the fly,” he said.

The delay was more difficult for the children, who wanted to get back to the building, he said.

True, said Lexi Walter, a second-grader. “I like to be here because I like to learn and be with my friends. When we do virtual, I don’t get to see my friends, and even if we’re social distancing, I feel safe.”

She and her classmates understand how important the masks are, she said. “If we didn’t wear masks, we wouldn’t be safe. I want to keep my friends and my family safe.”

The children almost without exception have embraced the necessity of masks, Stewart said. “We always say how resilient kids are, and how they adapt. It’s like they always have been wearing them ... they know it’s what we need to do to be in school.”

Elementary children will go to school four days a week, with Wednesdays being a virtual day.

Students in Boyd County Middle School and Boyd County High School will follow a hybrid A/B schedule, with those in the A group attending Monday and Tuesday, and those in the B group going Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays and the other days each group is not in school will be virtual days.

The district will continue to offer virtual-only classes throughout the school year.

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