FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Things look different at West Florence High School. There are fewer students in the classroom and masks are just becoming a way of life on campus.
Despite the changes, the school’s principal, Matthew Dowdell, couldn’t be happier about how everything is going during this unusual school year.
“It’s very exciting to have some normalcy back," said Dowdell.
Dowdell said his students understood the rules prior to returning to school, and they’ve had no problem following them.
“All of the students are required to wear a mask, and surprisingly we’ve haven’t had any issues with that, our students came to school understanding the rules and expectations and lived up to those expectations," said Dowdell.
Dowdell said the teachers have the most difficult job, juggling the hybrid and virtual learning models. He said teaching this year has its challenges but he believes his teachers are doing a fantastic job.
“Some are stronger with virtual learning so I’ve allowed them to teach virtually as well as some are better with the lecture and managing the students, so I have them doing that. West Florence is a phenomenal place to work and I could not thank our teachers enough," said Dowdell.
Dowdell said the new technology is incredible. West Florence, along with the rest of the Florence 1 high schools, has a thermometer built into their metal detectors.
“Students come into school each day they stand on an X and they look into a screen. That screen actually reads their tear ducts to be able to tell us what their internal temperature is. It’s just really amazing to have that kind of technology here. As far as our district I could not be more happy with the things they’ve given us," said Dowdell.
This school year may be difficult, but Dowdell couldn’t be happier with how his teachers, staff, and students are handling it.
“It is like running 3 different schools sometimes, and it’s really quiet sometimes because we have so few students here but overall I’m excited with how everything has started,” said Dowdell.