Students are returning to school in a hybrid model. Tuesday will be day one.
In addition to a drastically different schedule, students will be faced with social distancing requirements throughout the building. Masks are mandatory. Water fountains will not be in use. Plexiglass barriers are in place at every teacher's desk. Cafeteria tables will be limited to two people at a time. Sanitizer and disinfectant sprays are placed in every classroom.
On distance learning days, students will still get to see their teachers for part of the day and follow along with the learning.
“Some of us were recording lessons in the past, but moving forward this year all of our teachers will be live for different periods throughout the day," explained Alicia Sweet Dawe, Associate Principal of Stonington High School.
Back To School
Wifi has also been expanded at the school so that teachers can incorporate more outdoor learning during the pandemic.
Stonington High School teacher Lea Graner Kennedy spent part of her day Friday setting up her makeshift outdoor classroom.
“We are just going to get better at this," she said.
In addition to physical changes, the school is also adjusting the curriculum to account for social and emotional learning.
"Every student walking through our building is going through their own stressors, anxieties, so we need to take in account what they are," Dawe said.
Students will take part in a self-advocacy program once a week, every week, tackling things like racial inequities, microaggressions, anxieties, social and emotional learning, and how to stay safe in school.
Dawe said that a successful school year will hinge upon everyone following the rules and guidelines.
"It is non-negotiable. Their success and being compliant will keep us in school," Dawe said.
Stonington High School hired two additional hall monitors to help enforce distancing guidelines.