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IPS students start going back to the classroom with dozens of protocols in place

For the first time since March, some IPS students will be making their way back into the classroom.
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Posted at 6:30 AM, Oct 05, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time since March, some IPS students will be making their way back into the classroom.

Kindergarten through third grade went back to school on October 1, and WRTV went into Daniel Webster School 46 to see what this new school year will look like.

“I am so ready to get these kids back in school,” said Kameron Riddle, a first grade teacher at Daniel Webster School 46.

She said being in the classroom is crucial for social and emotional learning.

“They need to be around their peers; they need to be somewhere that's not around like their parents every single day like they need to have that independence and come to school,” said Riddle.

But getting kids not to touch their eyes, nose, mouth, and each other can be difficult.

“We have a procedure and protocol for pretty much everything,” said Principal Allyson Peterkin.

She said they have procedures for walking in the hallway, going to lunch, recess, dismissal, and even bathroom breaks.

“Each class has their own recess equipment, and it will be cleaned every single night; we have different times throughout the day that the bathrooms will be deep cleaned and will have a deep cleaning process at the end of every day,” said Peterkin.

She told us the district bought lanyards to help kids keep their masks on, and they bought water bottles for every student so they can use the automatic water fountain.

This is obviously going to be a significant change for students and staff, and both Peterkin and Riddle are glad they have extra time with the younger students to get them adjusted.

“We're definitely going to take that first week can just go over expectations procedures routines in the classroom, especially since they're going to look a little different with all the new cleanliness procedures we have to follow, so that's what that first week is for,” said Riddle.

Students will only be situated with their classmates so that way if someone does get COVID-19, they can quickly assess who that child was near.

On October 19, all IPS students who opted for in-person classes will begin their phased return. Students who chose not to go back into the classroom will remain remote.

For more information on IPS' plan, click here.