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Paris ISD Elementary Campuses Bring Regular Routines To Students At Home

Left: Justiss first-grader Gavin Hanley doing the pledge to The United States of America. Right: Aikin technology teacher Frances Reed videos Principal Kimberly Donnan as she tells her students goodbye during virtual morning announcements.

Both Aikin and Justiss Elementary have found a way to bring a piece of their school routine into the homes of their students by going live on Facebook and sharing videos.

Aikin Elementary usually makes morning announcements every day through video, and the students watch and participate in their classrooms. Now they are recording themselves and going live on Facebook. This past week, Principal Kimberly Donnan had spirit week for their students to participate in at home with different dress-up days (Wildcat gear, hat day) or show an unusual activity (chalk art or taking a walk with their family). Schools are asking parents to post pictures to the Aikin Facebook page where they are shown and given a shout out during the next day’s announcements. Assistant Principal David Stevens does the morning announcements each Thursday and has even had students send in their jokes for him to use. This past Thursday, Mayor Steve Clifford was his virtual guest. He spoke with kids about ways they can stay safe with their families without being afraid and encouraged them to get outside and stay active. Aikin is trying to keep things as healthy as possible by doing the pledges, birthdays, and morning announcements.

Families have communicated that their kids are very insistent that everyone in the house stops for the pledges and moment of silence.
Justiss Elementary opens every Friday morning with a Rise Up assembly. They have recorded their meeting at different times to put it all together while following the social distancing guidelines. This past week they had teachers and students submit prerecord segments of the assembly. Kindergarten Assistant Lamateria Wallace and 4th-grade student E’leeyha Smith led the dance. Mrs. Elmore continues to do her announcements, as well as the celebration of birthdays each week during the virtual Rise Up assembly. Videos were submitted for the Wise Word by Brian Chesshire, Jordyn Council, Hayden Moree, and Addy Little along with her little brother Adam. Coach Johnson and Chynna McGee-Harris reminded students to stay healthy as they sent them away with their P.E. launch. Andrea Irwin, the school counselor, is continuing her character lessons with examples of humility from Lydia, Lyric, and Kayleb Montesdeoca.

The assembly concluded with pledges from Justiss students Gavin Hanley, Trinitee and Quanterrius Jenkins, Anna and Olivia Echols, and Addy Little. Many students at Justiss have enjoyed the virtual Rise Up assembly so much that they have watched it multiple times.