Birmingham school using reboot program to help students learn COVID-19 safety procedures

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — School leaders across central Alabama are working on strategies to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19, and one school has given itself a head start.

Hilltop Montessori School is offering a reboot program for returning students to give them a preview of what safety protocols will look like this year. It started with a video school leaders created with the head of school and the Montessori mascot showing how the procedures will work. School leaders then invited students to campus, where they could go through the same processes they’ll experience this year.

“(We’re) just really kind of looking at it from a child’s point of view and what they’re going to experience in the school, and also in terms of educators and what’s going to be working for the teachers in the real practice once the kids arrive,” head of school Michele Wilensky said.

The school will employ a variety of safety strategies including temperature checks, masks, cleaning, separation of classes and more. Wilensky said the school is accredited with several organizations that were able to provide resources and experts for developing safety plans. They also created a local advisory board to help with safety procedures. And the reboot has given them a chance to put the procedures to the test.

“It’s been so awesome seeing all the kids come in, seeing all the guidelines and procedures being implemented,” Roopa Nash, a teacher at the school, said. “It’s been relieving for me.”

Nash also has a child in the school’s toddler program. She said the reboot has helped her as a parent, too.

“I was nervous starting out sending Rosalyn, my daughter, down to the toddler room,” she said. “But after the first week, after being here, seeing the kids be comfortable in their masks, which I’m sure they practiced at home, it’s made me feel a lot better.”

Hilltop Montessori starts school Aug. 10.


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