Schools prepare for start of classes with focus on safety

West Plains Schools stock up on sanitizer, deploy sanitizer spray guns and hire extra custodians
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 10:22 PM CDT
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) - We’re down to the final weeks before the new school year and many districts will be opening for the first time since March.

West Plains High School gives a behind-the-scenes look at how the district is preparing to keep students safe.

Thursday, the district hired two people to form a 3rd custodial shift - they will sanitize each building overnight.

The district is also stocking up on hand sanitizer, deploying sanitizer spray guns, expanding where students each lunch, and putting a focus on social distancing in hallways.

“Any sanitizer in the district has been replaced with alcohol based sanitizer, Director of Human Resources and Student Services, Dr. Wesley Davis told KY3. We have doubled the amount of dispensers on the walls. We have purchased, including what’s ordered, over 400 one-gallon jugs of sanitizer. We have them on every bus route and we will have them at every entrance to the building.”

Dividers will be available for one-on-one meetings between teachers and students. 

Custodial staff will clean classrooms, cafeterias and high-touch areas with sanitizer spray guns. 

The district now has five, with five more on the way.

“We do have separate chemical when it’s in the cafeteria or kitchens or like our family and consumer science classroom or anytime we have food,” Davis explained.

Elementary kids will eat lunch in the classroom while middle and high school students will have assigned seating in the cafeteria and two new expanded eating locations. 

“Right here, this was a wall last year, and this was actually our athletic offices. Now this is extra cafeteria space that we will be utilizing,” Davis pointed out.

Students will be encouraged to eat outside and the district may buy tents to that will become lunchrooms.

Bottled water will replace water fountains and hallways will seem more like roads with floor stickers and signs that will remind students to keep apart. 

“Try to keep kids from staying around lockers and standing in groups, Davis added. So that’s just some things that we’re going to do. We’ve talked about maybe staggering release times at the middle school and high school, that’s not been decided, to try and reduce or eliminate the amount of kids all out in the hallway at once.”

The district has spent more than $100,000 on cleaning supplies. 

On August 17th, a week before classes start, district custodial staff will begin cleaning every part of every building. 

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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