SPARTA, Mich. — More students are getting ready to go back to school this week.
August 25, is the first day of school for kids in the Sparta Area Schools district. Staff went back last week, and starting Tuesday most of their students will join them.
In Sparta's district, about 75 percent of the student body decided to on face-to-face learning. The other 25 percent will learn remotely for the time being.
Teachers have been prepping their classrooms and going through training to make sure social distancing practices are in place to keep everyone safe.
All classrooms will be equipped with cleaning materials, and staff will be disinfecting surfaces between classes and when kids go to lunch or recess.
All students will be required to wear masks while they are in the building and will be given a Sparta washable face mask.
Teachers will have plastic see-through masks so students can still see their faces.
Each night, custodial staff will be doing deep cleaning in addition to the cleaning of high touch areas throughout the day.
“There's no way to eliminate all risk of course, but our goal is to mitigate risk as much as we can so that our kids can return to face to face instruction or virtual instruction if they choose,” says Pete Bush, superintendent of Sparta Area Schools. "We don't want this to be a last school year for kids or for parents. And we think school is a really, really important part, not only of a student's academic day, but a social, emotional and physical. And so, we want to bring people back together and teach them how to interact safely; you know, wearing masks and using these safety protocols so that we can resume as much of a new normal as possible."
Each day staff and students will undergo screenings and answer questions from the Kent County Health Department to make sure they’re safe to go to work or go to school.