LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Thousands of kids will head back to full-time, in-person classes Wednesday morning in Dearborn County, Indiana.
It’s one of the earliest starts for schools in the Tri-State, and teachers have been prepping to get their classrooms ready.
“The classrooms are going to look a little different, but kids adjust,” said Lawrenceburg Primary School second grade teacher Brad Seymour.
Inside Seymour's classroom, desks are equipped with see-through barriers and spread apart for social distancing. Students will wear masks when they enter their classrooms for the first time since March.
Seymour said most people he’s spoken with are excited about coming back, but he realizes that the decision about whether to start school in-person or go virtual wasn't easy.
“It’s a tough decision sending the kids or doing virtually,” Seymour said. “We understand that. Most of us are parents. We do understand that it’s a difficult decision to decide, do I want my kids in school exposed to this or do I want them at home?”
Lawrenceburg Community Schools Corporation superintendent Karl Galey said not all students will be coming back for in-person learning in the district. About 15% have chosen to learn virtually.
“The ultimate decision is for the parents to make if they want their child to come back in person, we respect that given our current circumstances,” Galey said.
And just like Seymour’s second grade classroom, students in the district's two elementary schools, middle school, and high school can expect to see many changes and safety measures in place.
Galey said students will be in assigned seats, and there are labels around the hallways to show social distancing guidelines. Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available in every classroom, and entryways will be sanitized.
The lunch period will look different for students as well. Elementary and middle school students will eat in their classrooms, and high school students will be spread out between the auxiliary gym and cafeteria at Lawrenceburg High School with socially distanced assigned seats.
Another precaution the district is taking is assigning each student a number to help staff conduct contract tracing in case a child gets sick.
In addition to Lawrenceburg schools, students in the South Dearborn Community School Corporation and Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools districts will also head back to schools for full-time, in-person learning Wednesday morning.