FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After being away for 5 months during the coronavirus pandemic, Calvary Christian Academy students returned to classrooms in Fort Lauderdale with plexiglass partitions between desks and new sanitizing stations.
Students from pre-kinder to 12th grade had a new list of requirements, including social distancing, face masks, more hand washing and temperature checks. The first day of school was Aug. 19.
Kevin Menear, who teaches pre-algebra, engineering, design, modeling, automation, and robotics to secondary students, said Wednesday that teachers have also face additional challenges.
“We are having to learn how to teach class in a different way, so that we can keep kids focused, engaged and still deliver the same material and let it be fun at the same time,” Menear said.
The religious private school spent nearly $500,000 on an effort to keep teachers and students safe during the pandemic. Jason Rachels said that as the head of the school he is happy to report that students and teachers have been safe.
Rachels, who worked for the Calvary Christian Academy for over two decades, said there is new equipment and a stricter plan of action when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. The plan, he said, had the blessing of experts, from physicians to public health experts.
Rachels said he wanted to give parents a choice, so each classroom has a camera for students whose parents prefer they watch the teacher from home through Google Classroom. To help parents adapt, the school is also offering parenting classes online in English and Spanish.
“We have done great work,” said Rachels, a doctor in education from Liberty University. “Our team has worked so hard to put all types of precautions and protocols in place to make it the safest it can be for our kids”
A look at Florida’s data on coronavirus
Recent testing positivity rates for residents have been lower in Broward County than in Miami-Dade County.