The sound of joy resounded in the playground at Bowie Elementary as students went out for recess. Playgrounds at this elementary campus and other campuses across the district have reopened for students to enjoy.
To keep students safe while they play, all health and safety protocols continue to be implemented.
Recess time at Bowie has been divided into three rotations: blacktop, field, and playground.
“Before we only had two sections and now with the playgrounds reopening, we have three rotations,” Bowie Elementary Principal Jaymie Galan said. “They rotate to a different area every day. That way, it keeps the numbers small which makes it easier for teachers to monitor, and the kids have enough room to enjoy themselves without overcrowding one area.”
Before the playgrounds opened, students were already spending time outside for recess, but the playground structures, including the slides and swings, remained closed until recently.
“We knew that they needed some off-screen time and slowly started integrating the jump ropes and the hula-hoops,” Galan said. “At every step, the coach would help to educate the kids and train them on procedures. They got creative with the resources we have. The minute we opened up the playground and we had our first group; it made my heart sing just hearing the kids excited and laughing.”
The swings were a favorite among the students including second-grader Ciara Trevino.
“I felt happy when they said we could play here again,” Trevino said. “I like the swings the best.”
Miguel Saenz, a fifth-grade student, believes it is important for the playgrounds to remain open.
“I go on the swings a lot, but today I am playing basketball,” Saenz said. “It’s important to keep the playground open to keep kids happy and more excited to go outside. When I was home, I missed being here and playing with my friends. I only have sisters at home, so I am happy to be back.”
Fourth-grader Sofia Rios enjoys being able to attend school face-to-face.
“It’s just fun,” Rios said. “I started school in person the second semester. When I was still at home what I missed the most was seeing my friends, talking to them, and seeing my teacher.”
First-grade teacher Bertha Hinojosa shared her thoughts on the students being able to play outside.
“They are doing really good with the protocols,” Hinojosa said. “They enjoy being out here and being able to use the playground. It’s something that they needed, and they really look forward to it.”
Danika Gutierrez, a third-grader, finds it important to follow all protocols.
“Watching our distance, wearing a mask, and washing our hands is very important to me because I don’t want any of my friends to get sick,” Gutierrez said. “I have gone here basically all my life, so I love this school, and I know that it’s all going to be better soon.”