ABILENE, Texas (KRBC/KTAB) – Hawley Independent School District (HISD) will be opening their doors Aug. 17, but Superintendent Dr. Cassidy McBrayer said having elementary, middle school and high school in one area presents some challenges.
“Pre-K through 12 that all use the same cafeteria, they may use all the same gymnasium,” she said. “So, if you do have an outbreak in your district, it’s a little bit easier to isolate if your campuses are spread across town.”
She said fourth grade students and above will be required to wear masks, while lower grade levels will only be encouraged to wear them, but they will have transparent clip-on face shields for teachers and students as well.
“With very young kids, if you’re teaching phonics and reading, they need to see a teacher’s mouth, and you need to be able to see their mouth,” she said.
Other safety measures include stopping outside lunches with parents, purchasing touchless water fountains, and asking parents to send a water bottle with their kids.
“That just introduces more opportunities for outside germs to come in,” she said. “Something that you can take home every day and clean easily or just dispose of at the end of the day,” she said.
Even first aid is getting some changes, with the nurse’s office designated for those who potentially have COVID-19 symptoms, while others will be going to a separate place for less serious illnesses.
“Those minor things, nose bleeds, things that aren’t necessarily a sick problem, we can see them in a separate space than where we’re housing those kids that potentially could have symptoms of COVID,” she said.
But just like hospitals across the nation, she says just getting the available PPE has been a feat.
“Just like everyone else, the equipment we ordered back in April and May has still not arrived,” she said. “Very much like an ER setup, which is not something you typically see in a school nurse’s office.”
She said there will be an extra 15 minutes added to the end of the day so kids can help sanitize their area.
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