Wellington Elementary Gets Back to Business After Good Summer

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Carbon School District Press Release

As with all schools, Wellington Elementary School returned to school this fall after two years of COVID turmoil. And, things are certainly looking a lot better now.

“So far, this year has been really good,” said Wellington Elementary Principal Paulie Vogrinec. “We have completed all of our beginning of the year testing and we are starting our intervention groups. We are wanting to keep everything as normal as possible this year.”

She said the initial student assessments have come back with better scores this year than last year did. Her emphasis on “normal” is a common feeling around the Carbon School District this year since the past two years were affected by the pandemic so much.

“There just wasn’t as much summer slide this year,” she explained. “The summer school attendance at Wellington this past summer was pretty good too and that helped as well. There were around 30 students that came to those sessions.”

She explained the lack of backward movement during the summer break was particularly good when it came to the subject of reading. The students at the school have now been leveled up and they are making progress on the reading goals the school has established for the year.

However, “normal” doesn’t mean everything has gone back to the pre-COVID days either.

“In many ways, it hasn’t changed that much because we are still doing the same kind of sanitation activities and other precautions, but the difference is that most of the students are not wearing masks this year,” she stated.

She said that some students with hearing issues also need to be able to read lips to understand what someone is saying to them. With masks on, that is impossible. One way around that last year was for teachers to wear clear plastic shields instead of masks during certain times of instruction. However, those are not as effective when it comes to protection from COVID, so caution had to be used in doing that.

“There are just a lot of things we couldn’t do last year that we have been and will be able to do this year,” she said with a smile.

One of the things the school was able to do is use TSSA (Teacher and Student Success Act Program) money that was appropriated by the legislature to outfit the school with some new physical education equipment to be used outside. Items such as new soccer balls, soccer nets, basketballs, frisbees and disc golf equipment have been added to give more activities for the students to do at recess time.

“The kids are having a ball using that equipment,” she said. “It’s been nice to actually see them outside playing with the equipment. This purchase ties in with one of our school improvement goals, which is to improve student behavior. There had been a lot of rough play because there wasn’t a lot for them to do at recess other than to play on the standing equipment. This equipment provides sporting activities for them. It gives them varied opportunities for physical activity.”

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