Between classes, as teenagers switch classrooms, the noise increases-noises from the hallways, laughter and hundreds of pairs of sneakers.
But in this suburb of Columbus, Ohio, since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, the school district has provided face-to-face education for everyone who wants it.
“It’s amazing,” said Alisha Sleeper, a K-12 math teaching coach in the Southwestern school district and vice chairman of the local teachers’ union.
Everyone is wearing a mask, and the narrow hall is one-way. But teachers can move around in the classroom, and students can easily ask questions five days a week in school and meet their friends.
The principal, Melissa Ladowitz, said that she believes that facing older children is more likely to be infected and spread the coronavirus, and that the whole country is focusing on children in lower grades to make her Returning to school in high school will face different challenges.
She said: “High school students usually have more freedom than elementary school students, but we know we can teach them new routines and procedures.”
However, even if she does her job well, she is still surprised even when employees perform demonstrations, model and strengthen the wearing of masks, keep their distance, and so on.
Radovicz said of her students: “They follow these conventions.” “We are surprised by this situation.”
Mirrored CDC Guide-and is covered
Efforts to restart the Southwest Licking School began a few months ago. A summer survey of parents at that time found that 70% of parents wanted their children to return to school.
The head of the school, Kasey Perkins, said that once authorized, they must figure out how to make it work and work with local health officials to develop a plan.
However, there is no new ventilation system-more doors are opened and the corridor moves in a one-way direction-and, crucially, the health team says that if students wear masks, the distance between the desks is 3 feet is enough, and the CDC recommended distance is 6 feet.
This decision initially caused some suspicion, especially for teachers like sleepers.
She said: “In the fall, I don’t know what will happen. The guide is 6 feet, here we want 3 feet.” “I was scared.”
Six months later, the soul of the sleeper was relaxed.
When she talked about the coronavirus infection, she said: “This kind of transmission does not exist yet.” “We just set our expectations, and the children followed this expectation, which is really great. When you were in junior high and high school, you would I think there will be this kind of resistance…We found that they want to be in school, and they are happy to follow our guidance and a controlled environment.”
The easing of space requirements is critical to the entire region. At Watkins Middle School, which has the largest number of students, about 1,000 students, they have turned every available space into a classroom for 870 returnees.
Principal Perkins said that some students and staff have tested positive for Covid-19, but none of the cases can be traced back to the school.
She said: “I believe it is because they wear masks, so they do it diligently.”
Face the fear of the unknown
The sleeper knows that it is difficult for the teacher to go back. “Many teachers in my school district were opposed at the beginning of the year, not because we didn’t love our children, but because there was a real feeling that they themselves would get sick.”
For her, what was different was seeing what happened to the agreement made in the region and its implementation.
The sleeper said: “The only way to see it is to get through it. And I know it is difficult because you have to overcome your fear to enter the classroom.”
Perkins saw this fear among employees in his area and asked them to trust her.
She said: “This is a difficult thing, and it is also difficult for our employees.” “I think if you ask them now, they will tell you that this is the best decision we have made.”
She offered quotes to people in other regions who are still nervous.
She said: “Come to our school, walk over, look at our one-way corridor. Look at our transition time.” “Look at our classrooms, look at the cafeteria, look at the work we have successfully completed. So. , You can model it yourself.”