Written by: Andy Jordan, Ed.S. School Administrator- 8-23-20
Since March of 2020 schools have been rocked and forced to adapt due to COVID-19 and remote learning. One thing schools have learned is that remote learning is not as effective as in person learning and our at risk students are more likely to be left behind. Andy Jordan school principal shares his tips and strategies that can be implemented by other small schools.
Classroom Social Distancing
Make sure to have your desks spaced out as close to 6 feet apart as possible. One strategy principal Andy Jordan has implemented is removing all flexible seating in classrooms and replacing it with traditional desks facing the same direction.
Remove traditional cafeteria tables and shift flexible seating from teachers classrooms into the cafeteria. According to Andy Jordan principal this will help with storage within the school building. If you have extra gym space convert your gym into a makeshift second cafeteria. This will allow schools to have two lunch locations, maintain social distancing, and allow for less than 50 persons in one space.
Principal Andy Jordan has a middle school and high school in one building. He was able to shift the middle school schedule three minutes later in the day to allow high schoolers to have their own three minute passing period and then the middle schoolers were able to pass after them. This allowed for a reduction of 50% hallway traffic during passing periods. As an extra precaution principal Andy Jordan also rotated the lockers around the building to space them 6 feet apart on three different floors increasing social distancing yet again.
According to the Illinois State Board of Education students and staff must wear a mask that covers both their mouth and nose while inside the school building at all times, unless they are eating lunch socially distanced. Principal Andy Jordan recommends providing school logo masks to students for free and to also allow students to bring and decorate their own mask. This will help build trust and culture with your students and staff.
Praise the Positive
According to Principal Andy Jordan’s leadership blog, highlighting the positives will be crucial for getting through tough in person learning during COVID 19. Being a leader that highlights positives in your building and praising you staff and students will be key to keeping morale high during uncertain times.