TEMPLE, Texas — It's a trying time for Texas schools as they remain closed due to COVID-19.

To cope, Belton ISD's High Point Elementary School put on a parade. The staff told kids, "We miss you," and aimed to encourage students as education moves online.

"It's the relationship that they build with the kids that's so important to them," High Point Principal Amy Armstrong said. "So, we just kind of had to change our perspective on how to do that but the one thing that was missing was seeing their faces. So, being able to do the parade and see their faces, I knew a bunch of my teachers would be in."

And they were.

As the parade began, 25 teachers lined up in their cars with even more joining as the parade left the campus on Temple's west side. one of these teachers was fourth-grade math and science teacher Todd Strait.

"School's never been shut down this long, ever, in my lifetime," Strait said. "So, we're kind of on new territory, here. And we build relationships with our students which is more important than pretty much anything else."

Together the teachers maintained social distancing and weaved their way through the Windmill Farms neighborhood. 

"They can see that we're behind them, we're rooting for them and we want them to do their best work while they're gone," Armstrong said.

The impact was clear.

Families across the neighborhood lined the sidewalks and curbsides, where they waved hello and looked to see familiar faces in a world filled with change.

"Her face, and also my other little's face, just to see them warm up and brighten up as their teachers were rolling by. It was amazing to see," said Dominic White, who's daughter Ellas is a first-grader at High Point.

All of this on the first day of extended learning, or online classes, with no timeline as to when students might be able to return to the classroom.

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