Teacher Marlene Lima is eager to be able to receive her second grade students in person at Villa Capri school, one of the 115 that is preparing for the reopening after almost a year of classrooms being closed due to the crisis that unleashed the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I agree with everything that is being done. Throughout. We are fully prepared, ”said Lima, who is one of the dozen teachers from kindergarten to third who will begin to teach face-to-face at that school as of March 10.
“All the classrooms are ready, and all the teachers agree,” he added. “I have my acrylic (that separates her from the students), the gun (to spray alcohol) and I wear my mask, and I am sure that I will not have problems. Here we are well ‘set’ (prepared). We have everything to disinfect ”, added the teacher.
In his classroom, in fact, almost all of the students had confirmed their intention to return to face-to-face classes.
“My (students), except for one girl, everyone else comes. And I have kept giving classes and everything, that I am in communication with them, and they know everything that is being done, “said Lima, who, although he has not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, plans to do so next week .
Similarly, the mother of a student from that San Juan school also considers that it is time for her son to return to the classroom.
“I don’t have any problems with my son going back to school. And my boy is a special education student, and I think it’s time for them to start working with these kids, due to the need in the emotional area, “said María Caraballo.
“I am satisfied with the preparation that the Villa Capri school has at the moment,” said the young mother of a student who is in eighth grade at that campus. “I think the team and the director have worked so that they are organized and work in a very structured way according to the established protocols. And I think so, that we are ready ”.
It should be noted that, at least in the Villa Capri school they certainly seem to have taken all the protocol very seriously to be able to restart classes and everywhere, whether in corridors, classrooms or the patio, you can notice signs and signals, as well such as hand soap dispensers, to ensure students maintain distance and consistent hygiene.
Jorge Alberto Santiago, director of the school for 14 years, explained in detail all the measures that will be in force, from the moment the boys and girls arrive on campus.
At the entrance, the ground is marked to ensure distance. Once inside, there is a screening area, equipped with machines to take the temperature provided by the Department of Education. The nurse will also be present there, who will take a temperature at the beginning of the day and in the middle of the day. In the infirmary area, an isolation area has been created to use in case a child shows suspicious symptoms. In each classroom, each space that a student may occupy is duly marked. And everywhere there are products for cleaning hands and surfaces. Meanwhile, the dining room remains closed and the food is distributed to take away. In the corridors the routes of the direction in which to travel are marked with arrows. In addition, in front of the bathrooms, there will be a person who will ensure that the children return to the classrooms with clean hands.
Santiago commented with evident enthusiasm that almost all of his teachers have said that they will be working in person once the reopening takes place and added that “out of an enrollment of 416 (students), 227 have already confirmed that they want to return to school. That’s just over half of our tuition. And that is a success ”.
He explained that “in cycle A, 61 students from kindergarten to third will come. In the cycle is B, 62 come. They are numbers that keep us within what the protocol asks of us, which are 100 or less ”. Cycle A will receive classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Cycle B will do so on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The director added that, as an initiative they developed on campus, “taking advantage of the fact that we have a greatly improved internet network, with a strong signal,” they have adapted a camera on each teacher’s laptops, so that the face-to-face class can be broadcast “Live, so that the children who are at home can connect. So they go hand in hand ”.
As the Department of Education has made public, 115 schools are in the process to see if they comply with the protocol and can reopen classes in person on March 10. All must go through an inspection of the Department of Health, which would give the final approval for the reopening, if indeed they meet all the requirements, or could make the recommendations so that they can comply. As of Wednesday morning, “56 directors have not submitted” their documents for certification, the secretary said.
“School that doesn’t have the certification just can’t get started,” Aponte said. “Apart from those 115 (schools), there are schools preparing, that has been the instruction. But when I say that there is a lot of work to be done, it is that the schools must continue to be refurbished. You have to work towards what is the southern area. We are being very demanding that the schools be in the best possible condition ”.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm. We have not been in the classroom for a year. In particular, this had been one of the communities that had made the request to us, and here we are today in this opening phase, to be able to receive the students soon on March 10, if God allows ”, commented the designated Secretary of Education, Elba Get ready.
Primera Hora tried to visit another school in the capital that is also on the list to reopen, but there was no electrical service due to a breakdown in the neighborhood and there were no staff available to attend. However, from the entrance it was possible to see that the campus has received cleaning and maintenance, and signs, hand soap dispensers and the machine to take the temperature have been installed at the entrance. As was observed in the Villa Capri school, also in this school, the Trina Padilla, employees of the school canteens were distributing lunches to the parents who came to pick them up.