Sylvania school using screens, cohorts to contain coronavirus upon students’ return

St. Joe's Sylvania gears up to bring students back full-time
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 7:21 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) -As schools struggle to bring students back into the classroom safely, Sylvania St. Joe’s School is moving forward with full time in classroom instruction, with a new approach to keeping kids safe.

Monsignor Michael Billian is the parish’s pastor and says, “So many things put in front of us that have never been in front of us before in our lifetime.” So Billian says the school went back to its foundational principles and built the program from there. “We believe that parents are the primary educators. And the Catholic school is here to assist them. So we include parents in on their decision making for their school.”

When parents were surveyed, 90% of them supported bringing their kids back into the classroom. 10% are choosing to educate their children using the virtual option.

When students come back at the end of August, there will be a number of safety measures in place. Billion says “Each student can have 6 feet apart. 36 square feet for each student in every classroom. Screens around their desks, masks.”

The students are going to be organized into what St. Joe’s is calling “cohorts”. This involves splitting kids up into specific groups and they will only be with those kids each day. K thru first grade is one cohort, grades 2 and 4 another, and so on. Robert Edwards is the school principal and says the approach will mitigate any COVID cases if they arise. The hope is that they will only have to quarantine that particular cohort instead of shutting down the entire school. Edwards says “It is our hope that due to the distancing that it would be a smaller contingent that would be quarantined.”

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