ELKINS - Randolph County schools were closed for eight days in a row, but some Elkins Middle School students used the time to create dragon face masks and headdressses of all shapes, sizes and colors.
On Thursday, students brought these creations to school to share with one another. Teacher Richard Leitner said the Blue and Orange team students are studying Chinese culture and customs and the mask-making project is a tradition at the school.
"This is one of the favorite activities of the students," he said.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Elkins Middle School students on the Blue and Orange teams usher in the Chinese New Year Thursday with masks they designed and crafted. Chinese New Year is today and welcomes the Year of the Horse.
Leitner said a Dragon Parade, which had been scheduled for today - Chinese New Year - has been pushed back and will be later in February.
"We also take the students to the New Cook Chinese Restaurant to eat for the celebration," he said.
Students used many types of materials to design their masks and headdresses, including egg cartons, boxes, paper mache, streamers, construction paper and foil. Prizes will be awarded at a later date.
Thursday was the first day back in school for students following eight days off because of snow and frigid temperatures. Terry George, superintendent of Randolph County schools, said the first day back went smoothly.
"Buses were tested Wednesday, and all of the bus drivers went out early Thursday morning," George said. "We had no issues with the buses, and the schools all had heat."
George said it was good to get the students back in classes.
"So far in January, students have had classes nine days," George said. "I think the students were as eager as the teachers to get back to classes."
George said Thursday was the beginning of the second semester and that the school system will recapture 10 instructional days by using two in-school environment days, and eight more days that were set aside for out-of-the-school environment days and staff development days.
"I hope the weather continues to cooperate," George added.