SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Private and religious schools are coming up with plans for the upcoming school year, with most planning to allow students back on campus as soon as they can.
“They’re clear and still allow for the student to see their teacher,” St. Mary Elementary School Principal Mary Darosa said, showing off some plexiglass dividers.
Darosa is getting her campus ready for students to return in the fall. Currently, Sacramento County is still on the state’s COVID-19 watch list, so St. Mary and other religious schools still can’t allow students back on campus.
Lincoln Snyder, Diocese of Sacramento Superintendent & Executive Director of Schools
“So we’ve been preparing the protocol, we’ve updated throughout the summer, and we’re ready to come back when the county says that we’re good to come back,” Diocese of Sacramento Executive Director of Schools Lincoln Snyder told FOX40.
Snyder says, as soon as it’s allowed, students will be coming back.
“We made a transition from in-person instruction to distance learning one week to the next in March when we were asked to do that, and we’re going to be prepared to come back to class just as quickly,” Snyder said.
Snyder is responsible for schools all the way to the Oregon border. He says already many of his campuses already have students on them. But to do so, upgrades were needed, like touchless faucets in the bathrooms.
There is also going to be a lot of changes at Christian Brothers High School in South Sacramento.
“We’ve made sure that this model seamlessly transitions us from full distance learning to our hybrid model where we have half of our students on campus and half online,” Christian Brothers President Dr. Crystal LeRoy said.
LeRoy says they’ve added a new sick isolation room, and they’re ready to use it if a student contracts the coronavirus.
“They will be removed from the classroom, be in the designated room,” LeRoy said.
Snyder also says his schools have a system for breaking classes into smaller groups to make sure if one student gets sick, the virus won’t spread to others.
“Making sure that the cohorts are separate from each other, cohort from cohort,” Snyder said. “So let’s say there were an illness in one particular group, it wouldn’t necessarily affect students of the neighboring class.”
At Jesuit High School in Carmichael, all of their boys will be allowed back. Assistant Principal Dr. Fadia Desmond explains the school’s large campus gives them room to socially distance students in a way other schools can’t.
“By reducing class size, we can have students in class on campus spaced six feet apart,” Desmond said.
But until they’re allowed back, these schools have the resources to supply students with laptops and take-home learning materials.
However, LeRoy says that doesn’t mean all her students are well off, adding the school’s board of trustees is working to secure funds to ensure all who want a private religious education can get one.
“They were kind and gracious enough to take $500,000 from our reserved funds for the specific intention of helping tuition relief for our families,” LeRoy said.