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Teachers and students have a long road ahead to catch up on missed school

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POCA, WV -

Kimberly Swindell is a 6th grade math teacher at Poca Middle School.  She said it feels great to finally be back in school. "It seems like forever.  You don't expect to get a month off in January".  Lakota Pauley is in 8th grade at the school.  She said being off for so long was fun at first, but boring after awhile.

Teachers and students are ready to hit the books after nearly a month without school.  Swindell says the game plan is to stay focused, make every minute count, and that there will be more homework. While that's not always fun, she thinks the kids will understand.  Pauley agrees the homework and rigorous class work is necessary, but she fears it may become overwhelming.

The next few days will heavily focus on review while also introducing new concepts.  Swindell explained that students can forget, but usually students have something to draw on for quick recall.  Plus, kids did not go home for a month empty handed, they had plenty of work to keep them busy.  Swindell says the snow packets kids are sent home with are not major assignments, rather just something to keep them on track and keep some of the concepts fresh in their minds.

Everyone is a little nervous about how much there is to do and so little time.  Pauley says she is nervous to be back in school because she knows a lot of hard work lies ahead.  She is also fearful that she won't be adequately prepared for the upcoming standardized tests.

As a mother, Swindell knows how important these tests can be to a child's future.  She says, "there's the push for standardized testing like the WESTEST, but we still have to prepare these kids for the next grade level".