"I'm so happy they're back," said Indianola Elementary School psychologist Tamara Eriksson. "They're the best part of every day, so having them back on campus. It's feeling a little more normal."
The district welcomed back their first groups of special education cohorts this week. At Indianola Elementary, bringing back just six students took weeks of planning.
"Making sure we have signage out, making sure we have protocols in place. If a child does get sick or is showing some type of symptoms, what we need to do with that," said Indianola Elementary Principal Tim Smith. "And then just making sure students are getting the education they need to have."
Desks are spaced out, plexiglass was added, and sanitation stations have been placed beside each door so kids can sanitize every time they enter the classroom.
Selma Unified School District welcomed back their first cohorts of students to the classroom this week. Classrooms are complete with plexiglass, sanitation stations and socially distant desks. @ABC30 pic.twitter.com/0CVk0MYJby— Shayla Girardin ABC30 (@ShaylaABC30) October 23, 2020
Even going to the bathroom comes with its own set of rules.
"What we've done is assigned a bathroom to each of the cohorts," said Smith. "One group uses the girls' bathroom; another group uses the boys' bathroom. All the cleaning takes place in there."
They hope to bring phase two of students back in the coming weeks. This would include English learners, foster youth and students with attendance or connectivity issues. First, they're helping this current group of students get used to the new normal.
"It definitely is an adjustment, but it is something we can all learn," said Eriksson. "The students have shown they're able to learn and adapt to all the changes, and they've done a really good job."
Selma Unified is targeting November 2 to bring back phase two of students.