The Salt Point Center, Career and Technical Institute, and Alternative High School were buzzing Monday with students and staff ready to start classes for the 2020-2021 school year.
Yellow buses and cars lined the road up to CTI ready to drop students off, while at SPC, buses lined up in parking spaces letting students off a few at a time. At the Alternative High School, buses dropped students off as they pulled up instead of waiting for the bell.
Half of the students will attend school Mondays and Tuesdays and the other half Thursdays and Fridays. Remote learning will take place on days students are not in school.
At Salt Point Center, one change this year is a concept called “Rotation Station” where students move around the classroom to different tables throughout the day to get movement, but also practice social distancing. Teachers may do it differently, depending on the needs of students, SPC Principal Melissa Murphy said.
“Things are flexible,” Murphy said. “It’s one of the ways we’re practicing social distancing.”
The concept is highly individualized in order to keep things clean, Murphy said.
In teacher Ashley Hastings’ class, the areas are separated by courses such as social studies and math.
“It gives them a lot of choice and options,” Hastings said of the concept.
Teacher Kourtney Fitzmaurice is giving her students small bags with soap and a sponge so they can clean off their desks and individual bins with supplies. If “Rotation Station” is successful, it could be a model for the different school districts, Fitzmaurice said.
“I think we’re the blueprint for the county,” she said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how it works.”
At CTI Cosmetology teacher Melissa Lennon was excited to have some of her students back in class Monday. Disinfection is crucial to the curriculum, she said.
“Cosmetology has a large responsibility to keep the public safe,” Lennon said.
David Portero, a student in the Security & Law Enforcement program at CTI, is nervous, but excited to start school again after being out for some time.
“I’m glad things are getting back to normal, little by little,” he said.
Students at the Alternative High School were greeted with balloons, signs, and the signature morning announcement featuring the comedy of Coordinator of Alternative Education Duane Sharrock. Faculty and staff were happy to have students back in the building after six months.
Additional Facilities and Operations staff members are working throughout the day in all schools to sanitize frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and bathrooms.