TELL CITY, Ind. (WFIE) - Tuesday is the first day back to school for Tell - City Township Schools in Perry County. One of the first ones to go back in the Tri-State.
“I’ve missed these kids. We didn’t get to say goodbye last year, so I love being able to come in and wave at my past students, and then being able to meet my new students has been really exciting,” said 4th grade teacher Erica Wetzel.
Many of these Tri-State schools have been working on plans for months to make sure they are doing everything they can to keep COVID-19 out of their classrooms.
For Tell City - Troy Township Schools, they have laid out their plans in detail.
These plans help teachers, parents, and students understand what they can do to help stop the spread of the virus.
They are asking parents is to screen their children daily.
They are asking parents to look for symptoms like the following:
- A fever of 100.4 or higher
- Cough or shortness of breath
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
The school district is also taking extra measures by putting money into a system that creates ions that attack the virus.
The ions are 90 percent effective in killing the human coronavirus. They also kill other bacteria and are energy efficient.
It’s a $50,000 investment all in an effort to keep students and teachers safe.
“These things are in the White House, they’re in Google, they’re at Johns Hopkins Medical Center,” said Tell City Superintendent John Scioldo. “If they’re good enough for those places, they’re gonna work in Tell City - Troy Township Schools.”
Students who are ill must stay home for a minimum of 72 hours before returning to school. If a student or family member tests positive for COVID-19, they are to stay home.
Ms. Wetzel is not only teaching 14 kids in person, but she’s teaching nearly the same amount online. Live streaming her lessons and recording them so that students can watch them later.
”That’s very different and with having the web cam in the room and teaching at the front of the room and making sure we’re social distanced,” said Wetzel.
The changes don’t stop in the classroom, walking in the hallways has changed to promote distance, water fountains have been covered and water bottle use is being encouraged, even the way recess works has changed.
“All of our students still get the opportunity to play on their favorite thing, but not necessarily every day. The big important thing with that is keeping those classrooms separated, so if a students in one classroom is quarantined, we don’t have to quarantine a whole grade level” said Scioldo.
Students are also eating lunch in their classrooms to minimize contact with others. The school has invested in portable trays so lunch can be brought to each classroom directly.
Cannelton City Schools also head back Tuesday.
According to a memo from Superintendent Dr. Alva Sibbitt, all staff will wear a mask.
As for students, they will be able to take theirs off while in the classroom, as long as they are socially distanced. They will have to wear them on the bus and in the hallways.
Officials say schools will be sanitized after each day and desks will be separated six feet.
Students will get their temperature taken as they go into school. Parents will have to take action if their child has a temperature of over 100.4.