Cherry Valley school throws block party to welcome students back to class

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CHERRY VALLEY, Ill (WTVO) — Cherry Valley Elementary held a block party to celebrate the first day of school on Tuesday.

“Last year, our students were all in-person or all-remote. At the elementary level here at Cherry Valley, we had two thirds of our students in-person. And so, for the parents that were remote and that we met out today, they said they were very excited and couldn’t wait to get their child back in school,” said Principal Carolyn Timm.

Timm says she gets asked one common question: “‘Do I have to wear a mask?’ And I tell them, ‘yes’ and they say, ‘all right.’ They want their kids back in school. They know their kids need to be here for the best possible learning environment, and they are ready to help support us, I think.”

Magdalena Muench said she’s excited to have her fourth grader, Anthony, enjoy a normal school year.

“There was a lot of time away from school. Even though I chose the in-person learning, there were still the moments where he had to be quarantined and the students had to be quarantined, because of the symptoms and COVID,” she said.

For Jayceon Pruitt, starting kindergarten meant seeing his friends. But, some parents do have some lingering concerns.

“I would say the number one I would say is the number [of COVID-19 hospitalizations] starting to go back up, my concern would be that the schools will shut down again and that they would have to learn from home,” Magdalena said.

4th grader Robby Bambino said, “I’m glad. It’s going to be back to normal, as far as I know, except for the mask. But I’m excited for them to have fun, because it’s been a rough two years.”

Students were able to enjoy some free perks at the block party, like a free backpack giveaway and school supplies, along with some ice cream.

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