SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Springfield Public Schools are preparing for students to return to classrooms this fall and this raises many questions, such as how many students can be in a class at once or how will lunchtime work?

Kept physically out of school for months now, Springfield Public Schools announced on Wednesday plans to have students back in classrooms in the fall and it's stirring up plenty of questions.

"Is the school going to be able to keep my children safe? Where are they going to get the hand sanitizer?" said Springfield parent Dawn Holland.

Jack Olier of Springfield added, "How would the kids handle eating their lunch? How far apart are they going to be?"

Another concern parents have is exercise.

"Kids involved in sports, how is that going to occur?" Olier noted.

Further questions, like how students will be able to keep their distance going in and out of school, are also a concern.

"We plan to continue with all of our programs, but they're all going to have to be modified to keep social distancing in mind, so the kind of activities you can engage in is going to change," said Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Dan Warwick.

Working closely with a re-opening team, Warwick told Western Mass News they plan to rotate having 50 percent of students working from home, while the others are in the classrooms.

"They would be assigned and what we will try and take into account, we're going to work hard at this, is siblings.  Even if they're not at the same school, they'd be coming in the same days," Warwick explained.

While typically fitting 50 to 60 kids on a bus, Warwick told us transportation will look different too.

"Right now, with the social distancing piece, we're probably down to 10 to 12 students, and our special-ed buses where we usually do 10-15, we'll probably be able to do only four or five," Warwick said.

Spending a lot of money on sanitation and protective products, Warwick also said students and teachers will be required to wear face coverings. Wrapped lunches will also be distributed in classrooms.

The district saying there could be additions to this preliminary plan and despite all the lingering questions, Warwick said the main priority is to keep everyone safe and meet the students where they're at.

"We know there's going to be a learning loss for some of our population...so we'll know exactly where they're at, we'll design the instructions to meet the kids' needs," Warwick explained.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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