School districts implement safety precautions to reduce risk of coronavirus

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 10:42:53-04

BURLINGTON, Wis. — As communities head back to school, safety is paramount.

The Burlington Area School District plans to start the year with a hybrid model. That includes in-person instruction and remote virtual learning.

A model classroom at Burlington High School showed the number of desks cut in half. There are tables to separate supplies and worksheets by class.

Daniel Bocock, Director of Buildings and Grounds, said they are following the Centers for Disease Control recommendations and working with the local health department to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

"We’re going to be allowing more outside air to try and get the air movement within our buildings higher. We’ve installed more than 200 hand sanitizing stations throughout the district," said Bocock.

Crews also put up plexiglass in offices. Additional custodial staff will help with deep cleaning.

Students in grades K-6 will be in school five days a week. Students in grades 7-12 will spend two days in school and three learning virtually.

Students do have an all virtual option.

Face masks are required in school but there are some exceptions.

Jill Oelslager, Ph.D., is the principal at Karcher Middle School.

"In-person learning to us is a vital piece of ensuring students really achieve and meet the grade-level standards," said Oelslager.

She says in-person learning helps students with feedback, social and emotional learning, as well as, resources.

"The ability for counselors, school psych, food service all of those other pieces of what makes school important for kids and families that’s very difficult to do in a virtual world so it’s so important that we're providing in-person instruction for all kids for K-12," said Oelslager.

If a student contracts COVID-19, the district would contact the local health department and follow their protocols.

"We have really worked hard to try to address the need for our students to progress and grade-level standards while also ensuring safety at the same time," said Oelslager.

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