Together again, yet so apart

TANNER MONDOK | HeraldGrove City Middle School students sit socially distanced from each other at desks while they eat lunch in the cafeteria Monday during their first day of school.

GROVE CITY — The new normal arrived, along with students, for the first day of classes Monday in Grove City Area School District.

Choir and band members spaced themselves to enforce social distancing, teachers and students wore face coverings almost the entire day, and the cafeteria’s long lunch tables were replaced with desks where students could sit and dine while maintaining social distancing.

Many Grove City students were back in class Monday for the first time since March 13, when Gov. Tom Wolf ordered public schools closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of students continued learning remotely as the entire district had for the last two and a half months of last school year.

Students who will continue at-home instruction have received Google Chromebooks for use in their classes. Students working from home will be able to pick up lunches at the schools.

Those participating in fall athletics and other extracurricular activities will have their version of normal. Grove City Area School Board voted last week to participate in PIAA-sanctioned sports, including football, and activities including band.

Spectators, however, will be banned from all athletic contests.

The district has adopted safety measures, including taking temperatures of participants at practices and games, for athletic activities. The Golden Eagles’ first game is scheduled for Sept. 11.