Faculty and staff prepare for students’ return to school

With selected students returning to Waipahu High School on March 22, teachers and staff are making preparations. But with COVID-19, schools and teachers will have to take many precautions to keep students and themselves safe.

Academy of Health and Sciences teacher Hayley McDermott says, “I plan on enforcing strict masking and social distancing rules. When students enter or exit my room, I will require everyone to sanitize their hands. I will also ensure that surfaces, especially high-touch surfaces like door knobs and sink handles, are disinfected regularly. My biggest focus will surely be making sure that students are wearing their masks properly and that as tempting as it is, they are staying 6 feet apart from each other.”

Math teacher Denise Yamada says that she also plans to have everyone wear their face masks correctly (covering their mouths and noses) and remain at least six feet apart.

“I will have students disinfect their area before they sit down and probably have one door open so they don’t have to touch the handles.  I will not be collecting papers; everything will still be virtual,” Yamada says.

Many teachers are planning on enforcing rules about wearing masks properly and social distancing. They also plan to wipe down frequently touched surfaces and sanitizing or washing their hands when they enter or leave the classroom in hopes to keep themselves and their students safe.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cleaning and disinfecting public spaces such as schools is key to reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Something as simple as “normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure,” according to the CDC.