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In-person schooling helps improve morale, readiness at Fort Riley

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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FORT RILEY, Kan. (WIBW) - USD 475 Geary County schools on Fort Riley were recently recognized by the Installation Management Command – Readiness, for maintaining in-person schooling since returning to the classroom in August.

As one of the 24 military installations in the Installation Management Command – Readiness, Fort Riley is the only installation to hold in-person schooling since the start of the school year.

“Our number one priority is operational readiness to make sure that we’re ready when the nation calls. But such an important aspect of that is the wellness of our families, and the wellness of our families enables our soldiers.” Fort Riley, Garrison Commander, Colonel Will McKannay says.

Returning to the school buildings has improved the morale of students and staff.

“Can’t see the smile on their faces, but you can see in the eyes, they were excited to be they’re excited to be around their teachers. The teachers miss the kids. That’s one thing I heard a lot from our teachers in the spring that they just missed being in front of kids and do what they love.” Fort Riley Elementary School Principal, Kenny Upham says.

Being able to keep school as a constant for military children, who regularly experience changes outside of their control, has been a priority.

“It’s been something that all, all the school districts all the military installations have made a priority, and we really appreciate it.” Col. McKannay says.

Enhanced cleaning schedules, with additional cleaning, along with wearing of masks, and social distancing are the preventive measures the school district has taken to allow them to remain open.

“Kids need to be around each other; they need to learn how to problem solve need to learn how to talk to each other and how to play. And I think we’ve been able to do that this year and it’s been a great experience for our families,” Upham says.

“Their parents had that confidence knowing that their kids would be doing that safely enabled our readiness.” Col. McKannay says.

April is the Month of the Military Child and Fort Riley has been honoring the commitment and sacrifice made by military children and ensuring they stay healthy.

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