LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - School districts across the state are working to create safe learning environments for face-to-face instruction this fall.
Lexington One plans to open its school doors to students on August 31. The district says it needs community effort to keep everyone inside the walls healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re pleading with families, students and parents,” said Lexington One Secondary Schools Director, Thomas Rivers.
We’ve seen professional sports operate in a bubble, like the NBA, to curb and prevent coronavirus spread.
But schools cannot operate in such a fashion.
So as school districts implement safety protocols for staff and students, like wearing face coverings throughout the day, stringent safety measures must also be applied outside the school walls.
“We can’t control what happens outside of school,” Rivers said. “All we can do is stress and have everyone be mindful. What you do...can impact the safety and well-being of people you come in contact with in the school environment.”
Rivers adds Lexington One schools will limit who can enter their facilities.
Inside the school walls at Meadow Glen Middle, Principal Bill Coon will use signs to remind students of COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“We are having to restructure how kids come into the school,” Coon said. “And how students move from classroom to classroom.”
To start, students can remain all virtual or receive face-to-face instruction two days a week. No matter the option, Coon emphasizes relationships with students remains the focal point.
“We focus on the whole child,” he said. “That social, emotional piece is so important to us. That’s going to be a huge focus for us.”
Focusing on teachers, Lexington One gives them the option to teach virtually until safe.
“They want to teach the kids,” Rivers said. “That is their job. They chose that profession because it’s in their heart. Sometimes they are concerned about their safety. That’s OK. How can we ensure their safety long term and students have an opportunity to learn? I firmly believe we can do a great job no matter what platform.”
Coon admires how his team at Meadow Glen has responded during the pandemic to create a healthy learning environment.
“I have such an appreciation for the professionals on the campus,” he said. “And, how much I appreciate the people that care about kids and families in Lexington.”
Lexington One does have plans in place should a teacher become infected with COVID-19, making them unable to teach. Rivers says schools have work teams in place with teachers able to pick up extra work if a teacher is sick.