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Some teachers express concerns about reopening

Some teachers express concerns about reopening Photo: News10NBC.

Andrew Hyman
Updated: August 07, 2020 06:20 PM
Created: August 07, 2020 05:17 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Some teachers say they still have some concerns about getting back into the classroom, from properly keeping students physically distanced down to the available cleaning supplies needed to keep the buildings sanitized.

A recent USA Today poll showed that most teachers polled shared the same concerns.

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One teacher told News10NBC she's afraid the hybrid model may put students at a greater risk of passing along the virus, and she's choosing to keep her daughter at home.

"Until I feel that we have some models or measures in place that feel safer such as 14 days with no cases in Monroe County, I don't feel safe sending them to school," Carrie Gilroy said.

"So much comes out of the teachers' pocket that we are hoping that the district is really prepared financially to be able to keep up with the cleaning that needs to happen throughout the school year," Lesley Johnson said.

Despite the concerns, teachers we spoke to are finding ways to get creative. They're looking at different online video chat and education programs to keep students engaged both in and out of the classroom.

"How do we manage that interaction so that these different subjects that have the challenges of giving us different content through have some sense of equity," Brad Fiege, a teacher in the Greece School District said.

As for masking, it's finding 'fun' ways to enforce the rules especially for younger students. Teachers say they have a tight window to figure this all out, but they're up for the challenge.

"I mean we get young ones in here too, some of these kindergartners as Carrie [Gilroy] knows, they come in the door at four,” Peggy Garritano, a teacher in Webster said. “But that training, and I think that reinforcement from home is going to be critical but, we can do it, I know we can."

As far as addressing needs on a student side, school plans had to include strategies for providing access to either working internet, or lending computers. Districts also have the ability to give out masks to students who might forget one.

For a full list of local school plans, click here.


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