Inside the classroom: Changes you can expect for Wichita Public Schools


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW)- Wichita students are expected to start school on Sept. 8 and going back will include changes both inside and outside of the classroom.

“I want kids to be safe,” said Sam Belsan, Coleman Middle School social studies teacher. “I want kids to learn, how do we do that together?”

Spaced out desks, hand washing stations, and more cleaning supplies are the basics of classrooms this upcoming school year.

“You can kind of see how I’ve spaced each desk with three cinder block tiles in-between,” said Ashley Cavazos, Cloud Elementary third grade teacher. “They’re a foot long each, so that’s three feet that way and I’ve tried to do three feet going the opposite direction, as well.”

Fabric objects and similar materials have also been taken out to prevent students from wanting to share such items or do things in a group setting.

“I’ve also had to take out some of the community learning spaces in the classroom such as the library and additional small group spaces that I used to have,” said Cavazos.

Changes will vary with each school, but safety precautions like masks, cleaning, and reducing traffic in the hallways will be the same for most schools.

You’ll find stickers on the floor to show students which way to walk to avoid contact and handwashing stations have been set up in some hallways

At Coleman Middle School, students won’t be using lockers and students won’t be the ones changing classes.

“I’ll be rotating with other teachers. Students will stay in the same room,” said Belsan. “I’m also setting up my room with the mindset that teachers can just plug in and go.”

Despite the changes, teachers said they’re excited to get back, but even more excited to interact with their students.

“The opportunities to use technologies in new ways and to connect with students and families in new ways is really exciting to me,” said Cavazos.

Every school will have very structures interaction and possibly seating charts so it will be easier to contact trace if there are COVID-19 cases.

Some teachers said they plan to teach their students how to do everything virtually just in case the district is force to move in that direction after school starts.

For the full plan released by Wichita Public Schools, click here.

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