WYNNEWOOD, Pa. (CBS) — As the school year gets underway, teachers and administrators are reimagining the classroom. Wednesday was the first day back to school for sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Friends Central in Wynnewood.
“We’re so excited to welcome back our students back for the first day of school. We’ve been planning for this for months, readying our campus and our teachers,” said Friends Central School Principal Alexa Quinn.
Staff members have been readying for in-person learning all summer long, transforming the sprawling campus into a safe outdoor setting.
“We’re really fortunate to have about 26 acres on this campus and 18 on our other campus,” Quinn said. “A major part of what we’ve done is to prepare our campus to have students here on campus so we have erected tents that we have outside so we can have many classes outdoors at possible.”
From outdoor classrooms to signage saturating the grounds reminding of masking, social distancing and hand sanitizing, there’s no shortage of reminders that this is a school year like no other.
Staff members at Friends Central are using extreme caution to keep everyone safe. Not only will students and staff be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks, but there is also a bell that goes off on everyone’s cellphone every hour reminding them to wash their hands.
“When I think about kind of a word for the year I think it’s going to be flexibility. All of us have learned that we have to be more flexible in the past six months and we need to get a little more comfortable in not knowing what might come next,” Quinn said.
All indoor classes will have a limited amount of students. For now, all mitigating factors have been taken to try to ensure a safe school year.
“We wanna take advantage of being able to be together and build relationships and set up routines for the school year because that will get us off to a great start,” Quinn said.