After over a year of virtual learning, Auburn students will be returning to school in-person on Sept. 8, even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.
“We’re super excited to safely bring back our students and start a gradual return to normal. We’re going to do the best we can to make it a great experience for everyone,” said Vicki Alonzo, Auburn School District’s executive director of communications. “We’re still in a pandemic, but we know our kids need to be in school.”
The Auburn School District is doing everything it can to ensure student and staff safety during the school year, said Alonzo. The district will be following the guidelines set forth by the Department of Health. Beyond vaccines and masks, schools will be enforcing hand-washing and other good hygiene practices. Students will be spaced at least 3 feet apart.
Additional custodial staff was hired by the district to clean high-touch areas on a daily basis. Schools will be running their air conditioning systems for two hours before and after school to circulate air from outside, Alonzo said.
Schools will also move activities such as lunch and P.E. outdoors as much as possible to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
“We’re renting big outdoor tents at our secondary schools to provide more space for students at lunchtime,” Alonzo said.
Despite returning to in-person school, Auburn isn’t scrapping online classes. Auburn Online is available for families who aren’t ready to return their kids to in-person classes. Around 600 students are enrolled in online classes from grades 1-12 in Auburn, Alonzo said.
The district doesn’t currently have data on the number of teachers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the district is working to collect that information, Alonzo said.
Every building has a COVID-19 supervisor to do contact tracing in the event of a positive case in the school, Alonzo said. Staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine until they test negative or 10 days after the onset of their symptoms, according to the DOH guidelines.
You can read the full list of Department of Health guidelines for schools at the Department of Health website.