ROBINSON, Ill. (WTHI) – The majority of students in Robinson, Illinois will return to school on Monday. Teachers and staff have been working inside the school buildings this past week. Teachers are re-imagining their classrooms, administrators promoting healthy habits and custodians working with new disinfecting machines.
Robinson Community Unit School District 2 Superintendent Josh Quick says 90% of students will be back in school next week. The other 10% opted for the remote learning option. Those students had to commit to that option for the first quarter.
Quick says, "I do feel confident that we're creating a safe space for students."
In the middle and high schools, content teachers will be managing their own in-person and remote learners. For the elementary schools, remote learners will be assigned a remote learning teacher. That teacher will help them stay on track with the online curriculum. Remote learners will also be assigned a homeroom teacher.
"We want them to develop a relationship with a classroom teacher so that, in the event that they are able to come back in person at some point in time, they're going to be able to pick right up with that teacher and have that relationship built."
Inside Nuttall Middle School on Thursday, teachers and staff were busy decorating bulletin boards and reconfiguring desks. Student there can expect changes to the school day schedule.
"For example, once first period is over, there's going to be a staggered dismissal of those students so they're not all out in the hallway at the same time."
The district’s custodial staff will also be busier this year. Francie Shaffer has worked as a custodian in this school district for more than a decade. She'll be using an electrostatic spraying machine to clean areas like the cafeteria.
Quick said, "We are making sure that we disinfect between each group that's in there so we've had to arrange the schedule to allow for that."
The machine looks like a backpack and it holds disinfectant. Quick says the district bought two machines last fall. That’s before COVID-19 was even thought of here in the Wabash Valley. The district bought more machines this year because they can cover a larger area more efficiently.
It will be a challenging year but Quick says he and his staff are ready to take it on.
"We're excited to see our students back. That's what we're here for and we can best serve them when they're here with us in person."