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Bismarck elementary school students set to return to full-time, face-to-face learning

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Bismarck Public School students are gearing up to head back to school for full-time face-to-face learning.

Since August, every student in Bismarck has followed a hybrid learning model with only half the students in the class, at one time.

This coming week around 6,000 will be returning to class but not without some alterations.

“We’ve made a number of changes as I mentioned. We have a safety plan that we’ve implemented. It started with the planning piece and as we made changes we considered all areas of our building. Classrooms, lunchrooms, the gym, music room. We’ve considered transitions,” said Charles Dalusong, principal at Will-Moore Elementary.

Will-Moore Elementary is 1 of 16 schools prepping to accommodate all students while providing a safe and healthy environment.

“Switching and going into the green model, it’s a lot of trial and error. From taking those desks and putting them in pods, just to see how it worked even over the last two weeks has proven to be a bit difficult. So since then even I’ve chosen to move my desks and make sure all 17 desks in my classroom are 6 feet apart,” said Heather Parmeter, first-grade teacher at Will-Moore Elementary.

Throughout the schools sanitizing and cleaning will be taken to a whole new level.

“Also made changes in terms of cleaning the high touch areas in our building. So cleaning those frequently and often handrails, door nobs, etc. and spending extra time cleaning inside the classrooms,” explained Dalusong.

“We’ve done experiments about what it looks as far as handwashing goes, the proper techniques to do so,” said Parmeter.

Throughout Will-Moore, students have already received their own masks, individual playground equipment and some even have lanyards to hold onto their masks.

“They don’t seem to be bothered at all by any of the change and it’s just what we do. Oftentimes I’ll refer to them like, ‘Wow you guys are like the fifth graders in our school.’ And they of course just get all bubbly and excited about that. They want to be that role model for the kindergarteners,” shared Parmeter.

Other changes include mask break areas, even during recess.

For families who don’t feel comfortable having their child return full-time, they have the option to switch over to distance learning.

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