EL PASO, Texas -- For the first time in seven months, students have begun returning to school campuses at both the Socorro Independent School District and El Paso Catholic Schools while embracing their new normal as the shadow of Covid-19 continues to hang over their classrooms.
SISD students told ABC-7 they felt excited about returning to school, while parents said they felt confident about their children's safety because of all the precautions taken by the school district.
Only SISD students who were having a hard time with getting access to online learning, either because of poor Wi-Fi signal or other technical issues returned to classrooms for now.
Kids arriving to SISD schools had their temperatures checked and everyone was required to wear a mask. Inside classrooms, there was social distancing, and partitions between students.
Among the Catholic Schools, Cathedral High Principal Adolfo Sanchez said he was fully confident in the safety protocols passed down by the Diocese and added they have solid plans in place in case a virus infection is found within the student body.
If that happens, immediate contact tracing becomes key.
“We can back trace where the student has been," said Sanchez. "If a student goes to the bathroom during class they sign in and out and back to class so we know where they’ve been all day.”
A series of sweeping new safety measures have Catholic schools staff turning this otherwise intense situation into a chance to teach kids about discipline and consistency.
“They must always have their desks wiped down before they transition to their next class," said Sanchez. "Also, two minute transitions mean they will walk in a one way file line and get from class to class.”
Only half of the Cathedral High student body of 375 is physically back at class. The rest of the students will keep distance learning until at least October.
Other safety protocols currently in place for Catholic schools include temperature checks at the door; also all water fountains as well as the gymnasium area have been shut down for now.