MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Ahead of the first day of staggered classroom re-openings this Friday, superintendent Robert Runcie gave members of the media a look at new safety measures for the 2020-2021 academic school year.

Superintendent Runcie was transparent and said it will never be a 100% COVID-19 free environment, but it’s about being as safe as possible.

About 125 students will go back to classrooms at Hollywood Park Elementary. That’s a quarter of the school, according to assistant Principal Antonio Lindsay.

Kids will start the school day with breakfast socially distanced in the cafeteria, in groups of 10, and then go to a common area, where teachers will pick them up and escort them to class.

Runcie said class period times have been changed and staggered in elementary schools to reduce congestion in common areas like hallways.

Desks in classrooms are socially distanced. Some teachers will be teaching kids in-person and online.

Throughout the school, you’ll see decals and signs all over floors and walls, reminding kids to wear masks, wash hands, and social distance.

Sanitizers, gels, wipes, and even electrostatic misters will be all over campuses.

For the first time in the district, Superintendent Runcie said there will be at least one nurse in every school.

There will also be an isolation room for any students showing flu-like symptoms.

“It’s not if but when. Not if, but when there is a case that occurs,” said Runcie. ‘We have protocols in place to be able to do that.”

Runcie said they also just received support needed to get test results in their school system within 24-48 hours and over 500 contact tracers. He also promised teachers that they will get whatever they feel they need.

“The conversation is ‘What do you need from us in order to be comfortable to be able to come in and provide critical learning to some of our most vulnerable students?’ explained Runcie. Whatever they need, we’re getting it for them.”

Runcie said the schools are doing all they can, but it has to continue once kids go home too.

“Continue our plea to our parents, guardians. Please be diligent. Not only for your child but for every child in the school and Broward County,” said Runcie. “Yuor actions are going to impact the ability of our schools to stay open.”

Click here to see school resources, including a COVID-19 dashboard for Broward schools.

Click here to see a coronavirus dashboard for Miami-Dade schools.

Frances Wang

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