CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Questions about how in-person learning will play out during the pandemic are starting to get answered as students start to go back to school.
Today marked day four of classes at St. Stanislaus School in Chicopee.
Six-foot social distancing signs, mandatory face coverings, and required hand washing. It’s the new normal for students, teachers, and staff at St. Stanislaus School in Chicopee.
“As people, as human beings, we know social relationships are so important. Trying to remotely teach, you lost that connection with the children, as well as with the staff, so we felt if we could safely set the building up, it was the best thing to do,” said Sister Cecelia Haier, principal at St. Stanislaus.
It’s so far, so good since starting the new school year with in-person learning on Monday as seen in photos shared with Western Mass News.
A few changes had to be made. The Catholic school is trying to keep as many folks outside the building as possible. Students are in classrooms where their desks are socially distanced and they stay there in the same room all day long, with the teachers being the ones switching classes.
“I’m very glad that I went easy on students who use to forget their supplies when they moved from room to room, because now, I’m in that boat. I asked for their grace as I move from room to room if I need to get a pen or piece of paper to back them up,” said science and math teacher Craig English.
One parent we spoke with said her son missed interacting with his teachers and friends face-to-face on a daily basis.
“My son is truly a social beast and he needs this structure more than anything. He does require it. I think he’s healthier with scheduling and some boundaries,” said Maureen Cayer.
Cayer said she feels as though her son has less of a risk getting coronavirus at school than anywhere else.
“I don’t find it any different than being anywhere else. I think, in here, he’s safer than he would be at the grocery store or at the mall or on vacation,” Cayer noted.
Haier added if a group of students or a classroom needs to quarantine due to COVID-19, they have the resources to do so. Also, if Governor Charlie Baker makes the order for all public schools to go back to remote learning, they will follow his directive.