Alachua County Public Schools “on track” to reopen next week

Public schools in Alachua County are scheduled to reopen on Monday and are expected to open at 50% capacity or less.
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 6:20 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Alachua County Public School District is one of the last ten districts in the state to reopen classrooms according to Superintendent Karen Clarke.

Clarke met with Alachua County and Gainesville City commissioners Wednesday to discuss how the district is planning to keep students socially distanced to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Public schools in Alachua County are scheduled to reopen on Monday and are expected to open at 50% capacity or less, including school buses. 

“Certainly that helps us in those large group times, such as lunch. That gives us more room to spread out. Our schools have also created plans to expand that, so they’ve had plans for overflow seating using those outdoor areas,” Clarke said. 

Students will be required to get their temperatures checked every morning. Seating charts for both classrooms and buses will be followed strictly in case contact tracing needs to be made. 

“We’ve also designated an isolation room at each school so if a student does present with any type of symptom, a fever, a headache what ever that symptom happens to be. There will be that particular area of the school where we will try to try and isolate that student away from other students,” Clarke said. 

Teachers in Alachua County have also gone through additional social and emotional training to help them recognize certain symptoms and be able to refer students to additional support, if necessary.

“That’s a piece that I feel very strongly about because there’s many things that we don’t know. We haven’t seen our kids in almost six months,” Clarke said. 

The school district is also having students and staff follow Alachua County’s mandatory mask ordinance, unless they submit a medically exempt form.

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