WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is taking you inside West Springfield Middle School to give you a glimpse of how kids will likely be learning six feet apart during the pandemic.

Educators are hard at work on those plans to make sure students can go back to school as safely as possible.

“We are looking at what a six foot of desk separation would look like,” said West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt.

Twelve desks were seen Wednesday lined up neatly inside of the West Springfield Middle School. It showed the new normal for students heading back to school come September.

“We have to figure out how we work remote learning in with a hybrid model of some kids come back and we understand that some parents need their kids to come back because they have to go back to work,” Reichelt noted.

This week, the Massachusetts Teachers Association released a four-phase reopening proposal.

It starts with parents meeting with educators before going back to school.

The association will be negotiating their terms with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

West Springfield Superintendent of Schools Tim Connor told Western Mass News that district administrators have been doing their own planning with a safety committee looking into how to best have kids in the classroom.

With about 4,200 students and seven schools district-wide, Connor said it is a big task to take on.

“We are looking at things, for example, where the pencil will be your pencil. If we are working with any type of math cubes those may need to be in a plastic bag with your name on it, so we are going to be mindful of that,” Connor explained.

Another major part of planning are new protocols when it comes to cleaning each classroom.

“The other thing we are working closely with is our central maintenance around all of the sanitizing and what’s our protocols during class, in between classes, and obviously, at night,” Connor noted.

Connor said they are also waiting on the state for more guidance.

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