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Lee County schools say they’re prepared for face-to-face learning

The School District of Lee County says it’s ready for face-to-face learning, from mandatory masks to frequent sanitizing and even isolation rooms.

The district adds that they have already had success bringing kids back into the classroom.

When class starts for the 2020-21 school year, incoming eighth-grader Lacie Johns will be joining her classmates from a distance.

“My mom and dad decided not to let it go because we have asthma, and it can make it hard to breathe through the masks.” But Lacie knows from experience it won’t be easy.

She explained, “It was a little bit hard to keep track of my work like trying to figure out when certain stuff was due for what classes and it was hard keeping in touch with my teacher.”

Kell Ahern is a sixth grade English language arts teacher. She says students learn better when they have contact with friends, “I feel very confident and in the safety and security of our children here at school.”

From visual reminders on the floor to signs on the walls, staff says students will have constant visual reminders of how to keep each other safe. They say so far; it’s been a success.

Lee County schools’ executive director of school development Shanna Flecha said they had some practice already, “This summer we actually had several schools that did a face-to-face summer program and the students did a phenomenal job.”

Ahern thinks it’s because the kids know what’s at stake.

“They’re going to respect our rules because they know what they lost,” Ahern added.

Any student showing COVID-like symptoms will be sent into an isolation room, and there they will wait to be picked up.

If a student ends up testing positive for COVID-19, the School District of Lee County says contact tracing will begin to determine who was exposed and needs to self-isolate.

But for students like Lacie who will be missing that interaction because she can’t return to the building just yet, Ahern has this advice: “This too shall pass just like everything else, just hang in there.”

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Derrick Shaw
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