Parents, students take school in stride

Parents, students take school in stride

After hearing the news of a positive COVID-19 case in Whitehall Elementary School, Elizabeth Remmel, who has a daughter in kindergarten, was a little frightened.

Her daughter Lillian loves school and is very social. Elizabeth didn’t really consider keeping her daughter remote for the school year.

She was fine with sending Lillian to school because she felt her daughter needed to socialize with her friends.

“I figured it would be alright, and I knew that the school would take the necessary precautions,” Elizabeth said.

News of the positive case broke on Sept. 28 when superintendent Patrick Dee sent out a letter to the community addressing the situation.

Michelle Eggleston, a teacher at Ticonderoga Central School District who has triplets in fourth grade at Whitehall Elementary, said that she was pleased with how the school handled the situation. The district was working with the Department of Health and following all of the guidelines that were laid out before them.

“I just kind of had faith that they were making the right choices,” she said.

Her triplets, Archer, Ariya and Aurora, all attend school in-person every day because their Wi-Fi connection is not the best.

Michelle was worried for that very reason.

“I was really concerned because I know that their chances are higher of being exposed,” she said.

Michelle said that the triplets were pretty neutral to the whole thing. She hasn’t made the virus a huge deal because she doesn’t want them to panic about things that are out of their control.

Whitehall Elementary reported its first positive case of COVID-19 on Sept. 28.

The one day that they were forced to be remote Michelle described herself and her kids as being “nonchalant” about it all.

“They were like ‘oh, whatever, we are going to kind of go with the flow,’” she said. “And they headed back to school the next day.

Marieka Mattison has two kids in the elementary school. Her son Everett is in sixth grade and her daughter Maraylee is in kindergarten.

Marieka said that this was something that they knew was a possibility. They had prepared for this going into the school year.

She too wanted to stay calm and not put herself in “panic mode.”

“Life still has to go on,” she said. “It was one foot in front of the other I guess you could say.”

Marieka was pleased with the school as well.

She said that there were a lot of robo-calls to their home outlining what was going.

“I have full faith in the school,” she said.

Marieka said that Maraylee refers to the coronavirus as “the sickness.” Marieka told her kids that there was someone from the school who was sick, so they had to stay home for a day and participate in remote instruction.

She said that her kids trust the school, and so does she.

“I try not to let them panic, I don’t think they need to,” she said. “That’s what they should trust me for.”

In a statement Tuesday morning superintendent Patrick Dee said that the safety of the students and staff is the district’s top priority. He also urges any community members to reach out to the district with any questions or concerns.

They will be able to answer them or point them in the direction of someone who can. 

Elizabeth takes the same precautions now that she did when the pandemic started. And her daughter Lillian does the same.

“We take the same precautions we always have,” Elizabeth said.

“We use hand sanitizer,” Lillian chimed in.