KUNA, Idaho — Kuna School District recently wrapped up its first week of classes, taking on a hybrid model.
Half the kids are at school in the classroom on one day, and the other half the next. Fridays are e-learning days, meaning students stay home and learn remotely.
"They've never been to school, this is kindergarten so they don't really know any different, and they're really easy going about it," said Reed Elementary kindergarten teacher, Alyssa Townsend.
Townsend has been teaching for 18 years. The classroom structure is different this year, but the importance of her job isn't.
"This is where I'm meant to be, and it's just a new way of doing my job," said Townsend. "We had to adapt our hellos and goodbyes, which used to be a hug or high five, but now it's choices between elbow bumps or toe taps or hearts."
She's thankful to have her kids safely in the classroom; ten on one day and twelve on an alternating day.
"They did amazing, there were sometimes some reminders about pulling them [masks] up they tend to slip down over their cute little noses, but for the most part they did great," said Townsend.
She says social distancing on the carpet and at the desks is easily accomplished. It also helps to have outdoor breaks.
Friday marked the first day of online learning.
"[I] build routines with them here so that when they're online, they know what to be doing, they're familiar with the routines that we're asking them to do online as well," said Townsend.
A lot of kindergarten curricula focus on socialization and learning things like respect and making good versus bad choices.
"Sharing is one example, and normally it's of course, sharing is a great thing, and this year it's yes, sharing is a great thing, but this year we won't sharing we have our own toolkits with all of our supplies in there," said Townsend.
In the first week, the kids followed the typical curriculum, with some added timely materials.
"We had books on wearing masks, The Masked Ninja, Lucy's Mask, and things like that," said Townsend.
While there's a learning curve, Townsend feels lucky to see her students in person and online.
"When we're overwhelmed with the how we're going to make it happen, remember the why we're making it happen," said Townsend.