It's officially back to school time and for most students, that means remote learning. However there are some schools that are returning to full-time in person learning.
St. Vincent St. Mary High School (SVSM) in Akron is prepared with a lot of new health and safety supplies to ensure a safe start to the school year.
Changes include face masks for every student and staff member, socially distanced desks, and hand sanitizer in every classroom. To help avoid high touch surfaces, SVSM Principal Kimberlee Gore also tells 3News she's blocked access to lockers where students tend to gather in close proximity.
“At this point they are permitted to carry backpacks. We will look at when the weather gets colder and coats are needed how we will address that,” says Principal Gorr.
Another area of concern undergoing a change are bathrooms.
“We have organized our bathrooms in such a way that students cannot use consecutive sinks. We also are limiting the number of students that are permitted in the bathroom at the same time, we have signage posted as well and students wear lanyards. As they enter they hang it on a hook and there are three allowed at a time to limit the number inside. The cleaning will be much more frequent to keep the surfaces clean,” says Principal Gorr.
All of the safety changes are a small price to pay to be able to attend in-person school according to rising senior Eric Brown.
“The overall environment of St. Vincent St. Mary’s is just really great. I really love being here. I realized that when I wasn’t able to be here and I that’s why I think I’m really excited to get back into the classroom,” says Brown.
Social distancing isn’t just limited to the classroom. In the LeBron James Arena, there are marked spots where students can sit six feet from each other for activities with more than 30 people.
Father to two SVSM students Will Christie tells 3News he’s comfortable with the changes.
“We’re confident that they’ve provided enough safety resources to make it totally safe environment for the kids,” says Christie.
School leaders saying they’re stepping up the cleaning and stepping up their faith to shake any anxiety of a starting the school year during a pandemic.
“It’s also okay to rely on your faith to say help me get through this, you know? Our faith isn’t going to save us from Covid, but our faith will help us to find the strength and fortitude to make it successful,” says Principal Gorr.