Some students return to the classroom in Sahuarita

Sahuarita begins hybrid learning

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -For the first time in months, students in the Sahuarita Unified School District are headed back into the classroom.

The plan for hybrid instruction is to phase in students over time starting with K-5.

Students have been split into two groups, “A” and “B,” alphabetically by last name. Group “A” will attend school on Monday and Tuesday, and group “B” will attend Thursday and Friday.

When not on campus, students will engage in remote learning. Wednesdays will be entirely remote.

Teachers and staff have spent weeks cleaning and getting things ready. In the classrooms, students will see new social distancing markers on the ground, sanitation stations near the door, and desks spread 6 feet apart. Facemasks are required just like temperature checks.

How are they going to make social distancing work in these classrooms? Each desk is either labeled A or B and they alternate. That means when only group B students are in the room, they’ll be sitting at every other desk. The same goes for group A.

It’s a well thought out plan, but how do those working in this space feel about returning?

“There’s a little bit of apprehension and uncertainty that comes with this never before start to in-person learning, but together we’re going to move forward. We’re going to do everything we can to be safe, to be successful, and to return our kids to deliver the best education," Superintendent, Dr. Manny Valenzuela said.

When it comes to lunch and recess, students will be allowed to leave the classroom but will have to follow certain routes to enter and exit. Six-feet distance is also required in the cafeteria and things there will only move one direction.

If a positive COVID-19 case pops up, the district’s contact-tracing team is prepared to isolate students and staff members in close contact as quickly as possible. They’ll be able to determine if a classroom needs to be quarantined, or worst-case scenario, a whole school.

In the meantime, the district will continue to watch state benchmarks. If those marks reverse, the district will go back to teaching fully online.

Dr. Valenzuela said he hopes it doesn’t come to that, but safety is the top priority.

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