Many students across North Alabama already are, or soon will be, attending classes in-person, and a new study says it knows how to keep them safe from coronavirus.
Released by the University of Minnesota, the study says proper ventilation and seating in classrooms, and even the exact location where a teacher stands, can help keep the virus from spreading.
A diagram from the study shows an asymptomatic teacher without a mask. When the teacher is near ventilation, particles spread to only the front of the classroom.
When the teacher is not near an air vent, the whole room becomes a hot spot.
"How many kids are going to be in the classroom and how do you teach these kids to social distance and how they can be spaced?" said parent, Janelle Arbuckle.
Janelle Arbuckle says she is still deciding whether or not to send her children back to traditional school in the Madison City Schools district.
"If you don't make any changes, then we aren't going to see any improvement. We will just be back where we were in march," said Arbuckle.
She says before she makes a decision, she wants to see how classrooms will be structured.
"I think there are a lot of arrangements that could be made. There are a lot of changes that could be made in the entire design of a classroom. It doesn't have to be set up the way it's always been," said Arbuckle.
A study done by the University of Minnesota showed virus particles don't spread as widely when the teacher is directly under an air vent, but when the teacher is on the opposite side of the air vent, particles fill the room.
Researchers say this information this could help arrange classrooms in a safer way.
"It's really hard to judge how those things are going to affect until we've tried it," said Arbuckle.
The study also shows that good ventilation will filter some of the virus in the air, but not all of it.
After running a 50-minute simulation in a classroom, researchers found 10% of particles were filtered from the air. The majority ended up on the walls.
"It's scary for the teachers and the kids to think that they are going to be in that situation," said Arbuckle.
Madison City Schools says the district will be changing air filters in classrooms and school buses every two months.
Arbuckle thinks schools should arrange classrooms based on the study before students go back.
"I think the districts should be giving everything a shot. I think it's better to err on the side of caution," said Arbuckle.
WAAY 31 did reach out to Huntsville City and Madison County Schools to find out how classrooms will be rearranged and we're waiting to here back.
To see the full study from the University of Minnesota, click here.