LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) — One day after Governor Andy Beshear announced a statewide mask mandate for schools, students in Fayette County kicked off their first day of the 2021-2022 school year.
The day took on even more significance at Carter G. Woodson Preparatory Academy, where staff opened the doors for the first time Wednesday.
"I probably won't get to pause until after the scholars leave," Jocelyn Mills, the program director, told LEX 18 at the end of a busy first school day.
There are about 115 students--referred to as scholars at the academy--in the K-2nd grade program. It is designed to be a direct feeder into the current Carter G. Woodson Academy (grades 6-12), which is located in Frederick Douglass High School.
The first students to ever enter the building, of course, were required to wear masks.
LEX 18 spoke with Bryson and Bradley Kimball, seven-year-old twins, who started their first day of second grade Wednesday.
"I hate the coronavirus," Bryson said. "It ruins everything."
Few will argue with that, but the Kimball twins said they understand why they have to wear masks on school grounds.
Mills said that she has not received much resistance from students or parents about masks.
"None of us are wearing masks because we choose to," Mills said. "We are simply just being decent human beings."
Although Mills was hoping to avoid a school year that featured masks, she said that she and her staff are committed to enforcing the mandate and keeping kids safe.
"The science is telling us that when we wear masks and we socially distance and we get vaccines, our numbers go down," Mills noted. "And when we don't, our numbers go up."
"And so we have to govern ourselves accordingly," Mills added.