SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As public school officials in Chatham County finalize their back to school plans News 3 is getting a closer look into how some private schools plan to reopen this fall.
More than 400 students are set to start school on Monday, August 10 at Benedictine Military School. Half of the students will return to the classroom while the other half will do school online. Students will need a mask to enter the building.
The BC 400 is set to start school with a blended learning model but it hasn’t been an easy road to this decision for Principal Jacob Horne.
“I would say it’s like taking a curveball every day. There are always things that are unexpected. You can plan and plan and plan but once the boots hit the ground and once that rubber hits the pavement you’ve got to be flexible enough to live with what comes up,” Principal Horne told News 3.
School officials have been meeting throughout the summer and collaborating with other districts to pick the best way to reopen.
“Our philosophical discussion was one of trying to respect the science and trying not to also succumb to fear and so we felt the blended model did both,” Horne said.
Benedictine’s 400 cadets will be split into two groups maroon and grey. One group comes in Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and the other on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then the next week each group will flip schedules.
“Obviously we want our classroom numbers to be as low as they could so that we could adequately provide enough social distancing to feel safe for them and that our families could feel safe,” Horne said.
Each day students will do a daily questionnaire through text message answering COVID-19 questions to check for symptoms. When walking through the front door someone will check their temperature and make sure they’re wearing a mask. Horne says parents have been appreciative of this learning model.
A new purification system was also installed on campus. It’s also used in the Mayo Clinic and White House. Any students or staff who display COVID-19 symptoms at school will be put in an isolation room until they can be escorted from the campus.
“Because obviously everybody didn’t want to go back through what we did in the spring which was oftentimes detrimental,” Horne said.
While there is no time table for how long this blended program will last school officials believe it’s better than just online learning. You can find full reopening plans for Benedictine here.