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Staff at Fort Payne Schools get ready for first day of school

Principal Jennifer List tells WAAY 31's Sophia Borrelli the first day of school will start with students learning about all the new safety protocols.

Posted: Aug 11, 2020 10:25 PM

Fort Payne students are heading back to class Wednesday.

Tuesday, WAAY 31 learned how the return to class will work for one school in the district.

Students at Williams Avenue Elementary School in Fort Payne will be walking through these doors to start the new school year. The principal tells me that they are having a staggered start, meaning only girls will be attending school Wednesday, then just the boys will be coming on Thursday, and all students coming to the school on Friday.

"We did that to kind of cut down on the amount of students at one time. We thought we could also integrate them and show them our new routines and procedures especially with our third graders coming in for the very first time and not being in the building," said Jennifer List, Williams Avenue Elementary School Principal.

List said the first day of school will start with students learning about all the new safety protocols.

"They’ll see a hand-washing video just geared especially for kids about how long you need to be washing those hands or where you need to do it, and the key to all of this is washing your hands over and over," said List.

"Majority of our classrooms throughout our building have sinks in them as well, so that helps us out with the sinks in the classroom and in the restrooms. We have hand sanitizer stations all over the building and so we are educating them about that making sure you’re hand washing and sanitizing and then also we’re going to do a video about how to wear your face mask."

Classrooms are set up so students are six feet apart, and teachers already have supplies ready for students when they arrive.

"There won’t be shared and community supplies like we’ve had in the past. Each child has their own things labeled in their own desk. We won’t be changing classes like we have done in the past," said List.

List says she knows students and parents will be nervous on that first day.

But she wants parents to know her staff is doing everything they can to keep kids safe while at school.

"We just want to keep our kids safe, but we want them to be here because we feel like it’s so important educationally, but socially, emotionally and for our parents to be able to get back to work," said List.

List also says they need parents to check their child for symptoms before they send them to school and to keep them home, if they feel sick.

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