Washington Elementary opened its newly renovated doors to students in Riviera Beach Tuesday on the first day of school.
The original school was built in the 1960s, but today it’s one of the Palm Beach County School District’s newest modernized schools that has renovated classrooms, media center and other updates throughout the building.
The other modernized school is the Addison Mizner K-8 in Boca Raton. Parent Tequaria Holligan was glad to see the school had finally opened.
“The campus is beautiful. (We’ve been) waiting for a while,” Holligan said. “We’ve been walking by looking, very excited today.”
Holligan got a chance to go inside as she dropped off her children. All were wearing masks.
Students in Palm Beach County can opt-out of wearing facial coverings if they provide a signed note from a parent.
Dr. Vernicka Rolle-Murray is the principal at Washington Elementary. She said they have about 200 students enrolled and as of Tuesday morning, there was no word that anyone was opting out of wearing a mask.
She can’t wait to get back to being with her students.
“My goal is to improve student achievement starting from kindergarten to 5th grade,” Rolle-Murray said.
Washington Elementary was the first stop on interim superintendent Michael Burke’s list of schools to visit on the first day of in-person learning.
He said he wants to keep people safe.
“We want to get school open and we want to keep school open. Last year we were able to get through the whole school year without having to close any campus and that’s my goal again this year,” Burke said. “I think it will be a challenge because of the rate of infection and virus spread throughout the county.”