NewsSafely at School


A look into how a Newport News School is preparing for the return of in-person learning

Sanford Elementary School gets ready for students
Newport News School.PNG
Posted at 9:32 AM, Feb 22, 2021

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Schools around Hampton Roads look a lot different as they open back up for in-person learning.

News 3 got an exclusive look inside Sanford Elementary School in Newport News as school leaders showed us what is being done to protect the children and staff.

They’ve loaded up on cleaning supplies and everyone who enters the building must wear a mask.

Many students and staff are excited to be back in the classrooms even with new COVID-19 restrictions in place, including the Principal Megan Auman

News 3 walked the halls with Principal Auman who showed us the many new changes including Plexiglas stations, new cleaning procedures, signs encouraging social distancing, air purifiers in classrooms and touch-less water fountains.

For months, districts around the region have been planning.

“The top priority is the health and safety and well-being of your kids and our staff here, so we have done everything we can to make sure we’re following all the guidelines by the state, from the district and the CDC,” said Principal Auman.

They normally have 450 students but will see how many choose to come back for in-person learning as students in the Newport News District have the option to continue virtual learning.

“You will see all of our tables, desks are six feet apart. At each table we have individualized material. Before we would’ve allowed kids to share those things but we’ve done a lot of extra ordering to make sure that every kid has their own materials,” said Principal Auman. She said each classroom has health stations.

She said they have markers indicating six feet in distance and teachers have entwined COVID-19 protocols in their lesson plans to help the children understand the new protocols.

Auman said the district has a COVID-19 Response Team that has designed a procedure to follow if a student tests positive for COVID-19.

Kids will be in class in the morning then learn at home virtually in the afternoon. They will not be eating the cafeteria or meeting in large groups.

Auman said teachers held an virtual open house Thursday night and kids were eager to see their desks and classrooms again on the video.