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COVID-19 and Back to School

August 05, 2020

With August underway, school is just around the corner. Changes will vary from school to school across the state. There will be many changes, not just to the normal school day, but also the athletic programs. This will be a very trying time for staff and students together. One of the biggest aspects of returning to school that concerns some Florida School Resources Officers is the mental health status of many kids who may not have been receiving their regular counseling due to financial strains that may have affected house hold incomes and the lack of being around their peers.

Several examples of how a High School in Florida will be changing some of their day to day at school are all hallways are being labeled and designated as one way halls and those that cannot be a dedicated one way will be divided with tape boundaries to minimize contact between students and ensure social distancing spacing. Curriculum will be changing from the traditional seven period school day to block study. Block study means that students will be on select periods at select times with extended period times to reduce the amount of class exchanges therefore reducing contact between students. Lunch breaks will transition from two lunches to three lunches to reduce student numbers and even converting a gym area to an additional serving line at lunch times.

Staff members will be required to wear either a face covering or face mask. Students it will be optional at this time (subject to change) and temperatures will be taken by their first period teachers. Any student who records a temperature of 100.4 or greater will be required to immediately go to the nurse for a temperature verification. If the nurse records the same temperature the student will immediately be sent home and be required to monitor for any other signs or symptoms of COVID-19. In between all classes teachers and staff are required to disinfect all surfaces before another student uses the previous area. The surfaces included are bathroom passes, desks, laptops, computers, and any other shared surfaces. Custodial staff is required to disinfect all door handles and bathrooms repeatedly throughout the day. Athletic programs are canceling all out of conference games and requiring teams to limit distance traveling. Football helmets will be equipped with eye and mouth coverings on all helmets. Again, these new guidelines will vary from county and from each school. These are just a few examples that are being put in place for a High School in Florida.