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South Point schools roll out changes ahead of new school year

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 6:07 PM EDT
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SOUTH POINT, Oh. (WSAZ) - As some students prepare to return to classes in Ohio, staff and administrators have been hard at work all summer preparing the buildings.

“The original plan, we were going to use Plexiglas to divide the tables into four sections, but there’s a shortage of Plexiglas at this time,” said Dean Nance, principal at South Point High School.

They opted instead to use corrugated plastic and chose school colors to add a flare of school spirit to the cafeteria. Tables that used to seat ten, will now only hold four students as they eat their lunch. The rest of the students will be spaced out in the bleachers in the gym until it’s there turn to use the tables.

Principal Nance says he understands how disappointing it may be for students who especially enjoy socializing during lunch. When masks are down while people are eating, that’s where concerns of spreading the virus come into play.

All of the hallways and stairwells are now one-directional.

“We’re going to be checking students temperatures even before they got on the bus in the morning,” said Nance. “Those that are dropped off we’re going to be checking their temperatures as they come in. We’re going to be checking temperatures twice a day.”

The school is also the proud new owner of a battery powered misting machine, which is used to disinfect equipment and classrooms.

Students also won’t be using traditional water fountains. Instead each person will be given a re-usable water bottle and can be filled up at the touch free water stations.

Dozens of hand sanitizing pumps have been installed in classrooms and hallways. Signs are also posted to remind students to maintain social distancing and to stay six feet apart.

If someone does come down with symptoms of COVID-19, there’s a plan. A separate quarantine room has been designated to be monitored by a second school nurse.

“At any time, if anyone comes down with symptoms,” said Nance. “They are isolated from the rest of the student body and staff, then their parents are contacted to come get them.”

Desks have been spread out and labeled with yellow tape. Things were trickier in the science labs since the tables are longer and were meant to be shared. For now, one student will sit at each assigned desk.

A Google Doc is being used and shared among teachers, to notify one another how many students are using the bathroom at one time. The middle stall and sink have been closed off for use.

School provided Chromebooks have been given to those working from home. The programs will show parents how much work the student is doing during the day.

Lockers won’t be used until the winter when students begin wearing coats and jackets.

Each student will be given to face masks with the school logo on it.

Classes begin Monday August 31st.

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