VICENZA — As the school year begins, special attention is given to the opening procedures in terms of the Coronavirus pandemic. While the beginning of the school year brings students opportunities to meet new teachers, friends and learning new activities, there will also be new safety requirements and precautionary measures in place by the Department of Defense Education Activity to ensure that students and educators are protected as much as possible.“We had a smooth first day of school in large part due to the support from the U.S. Army Garrison Italy headquarters team and the Public Health professionals at the clinic,” said DoDEA Europe South District Community Superintendent David Rudy.“This partnership instilled confidence in our parents, students, and staff that we are able to safely operate schools, alongside the Coronavirus, to provide in-person learning to military-related children,” he continued.As part of the information that was sent out by the Vicenza Elementary School Newsletter after the first day of school, the feeling of joy of having the students back in the classrooms is evident. Additionally, there are a few reminders to the students’ parents to follow the new rules and wear face coverings correctly.“We are asking for your continued support in keeping our children and teachers safe and healthy,” said Allison Peltz, VES principal.At the moment, children are unable to drink from the water fountains. Therefore, she highlighted to make sure that children have a water bottles with their first and last names on it.“Please model appropriate mask wearing when on campus. You are your child’s first and best teacher. They look to you for guidance,” she continued.After the first day of school, Peltz had a positive outlook, “It was incredible. Our students were so excited to be back with their friends and teachers. They handle the challenges of attending school in the midst of a pandemic with grace and confidence. It feels amazing to have children back in the building. We appreciate the support we have received from our families, Partners-in-Education and installation in making this a positive start,” said Peltz.Col. Dan Vogel, U.S. Army Garrison Italy commander, prepared a welcome message before the reopening of school year.“I want to personally thank teachers for all of their hard work, perseverance, and dedication through this difficult time, while putting our students and their safety first,” he said.“They play an important role in the personal and educational development of our children. This school year will bring challenges, but I know we have an outstanding team of teachers who have already shown adaptation, forward-thinking and determination, all in the name of our children's education.”For information about DoDEA safety requirements and precautionary measures visit:https://www.dodea.edu/returntoschool.cfm