Dodge Elementary wraps up nontraditional school year

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Dodge Elementary School, like all schools in Grand Island and across the country, had a very nontraditional final semester to the school year. It all started on March 15 when GIPS announced the move to online learning.

Dodge Elementary School. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)

"It has been crazy, it was stressful at first," Dodge Principal Angie Eberle told Local4 News. "The teachers just dug right in and tried different things."

Things were definitely different for both teachers and students. Especially for one new Dodge second grader named Jonivon Peinado. His family moved to Grand Island just as COVID-19 started to appear in the area.

"When we were over there in Oklahoma it was barely starting to begin too, the whole Coronavirus situation," Jonivon's dad, Jesus, said. "The first week here was the week they canceled school. My kids didn't even get to go to their first day of school because they got canceled."

Despite never meeting his teachers, Jesus says they were always available to help Jonivon when he needed it.

"The school has been really good to us, keeping in contact with us and letting us now what's going on," Jesus said. "Basically they were there to help us with anything we need."

Jesus spent more time on campus on Monday dropping his son's books off then the student had all semester. It was part of the school's material drop off, a very different way to end the year.

"We had strict directions for just one person to come so it's usually been the parent of course to drop off the books," Eberle said. "We get a couple glimpses of our kids but that's the hardest part just not getting that closure."

Grand Island Public Schools has not decided what next year will look like yet. They say there's still too much up in the air to make a decision right now.