WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Washington Elementary School’s hallways do not have the usual flow of kids, but they are seeing a boom in baby bumps.
“What a year to be with a child and also without children at the same time,” said Washington Elementary School teacher Hannah Evans Mendoza.
Their staff has more than just a couple expecting mothers – eight staff members are currently pregnant.
“It kept happening one, after the next, after the next. I was like, ‘Oh, okay. You too?’” said principal Heather Vincent.
“I think one of these was the motions,” Evans Mendoza said as she smacked her forehead. “I think she was starting to realize, ‘oh, man. This is happening, I’m going to have no teachers in the spring,’” she said.
The due dates range from March to July. The group is split evenly between new mothers and veteran moms.
“We could pass down knowledge, like, ‘oh, you’re about to go into this? ‘Oh, and you are about to go into this?’ So, it’s like a ladder,” said Barbara Barrios, a para for the elementary school.
Barrios shares her due date with a fellow paraeducator. Pregnant in a pandemic is creating a one-of-a-kind bond for the women.
“It’s been a lot of help and encouragement and just support from each other,” Barrios said.
The pregnancy pack is bringing tons of joy during an unusual school year.
“We have amazing co-workers who are just overjoyed to see all these little bellies running around. They keep us well fed and give us chocolate,” Evans Mendoza said.
“It just kind of adds a little excitement and positivity to the building during such a hard year,” Vincent said.
The school has already found some long-term subs to fill the void while the women are on maternity leave. Come August all of the ladies plan to recreate their photo with their new bundles of joy.\