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BACK 2 SCHOOL: Waupaca superintendent says school buildings are safe

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 6:05 AM CDT
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WAUPACA, Wis. (WBAY) - As families prepare to send their children back to school amid a pandemic, local superintendents are working to assure them that school is a safe place.

Waupaca Superintendent Ron Saari told Action 2 News This Morning how staff are working to keep a healthy and clean environment for students.

“We believe our schools are going to be the safest place around. Truly we believe that. We know that. The only people allowed in our buildings are going to be staff and students and admitted visitors. We’re planning for those meetings that need to take place to be done either virtually or outside the building and then like all other schools that we’re in touch with, we’ve greatly increased our cleaning and sanitation regimens. We’ve limited certain locations in the schools for people to be and also working with students and their cohorts to limit the number of contacts they’ll have with each other. And like other places you’ve seen with plexiglass and other barriers throughout the schools, installing hand sanitizer kiosks for staff and students, increasing signage. The healthy version of the Waupaca Way, in which we’re reminding students that they should be washing their hands, be physically conscious to stay six feet distanced and to use their face coverings. We’ve implemented bus protocols with masks, physical spacing. We have lunch protocols.”

Saari says the school will use fogging equipment to clean the air, and may install ionizers in the HVAC system to purify air in the buildings.

Saari says everyone will need to be ready to adapt to changes.

“I guess the biggest one, in our minds, is resiliency. We need to be flexible and adaptable. We’re confident we can cope and adapt with whatever this year brings. We’re also optimistic and positive. Our staff has a solution mindset in behavior and so does our community. We truly believe we’re in this together. Together we’re going to make this a successful year. We’ve partnered with our parents and our community to take their input into consideration. We’ve had frequent stakeholder meetings and a lot of communication back and forth. A lot of teamwork and conversation has taken place behind the scenes and in the public to enable us to move forward with opening our schools safely this year,” says Saari.

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