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‘This is going to be different’: school districts implement changes to lunchtime

SEISD Cafeteria
The San Elizario Independent School District prepares cafeterias for students with social distance floor markers.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- As more and more students in the Borderland return to their classrooms, they're confronted with a new normal: face mask requirements, social distancing and frequent sanitizing stations. Now, those changes are hitting one of the most social times of the day: lunchtime.

"We're human and we all like that human contact and I think that's what the difficult part is," said San Elizario Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Meza-Chavez.

ABC-7 toured one cafeteria in the district and saw social distancing floor markers, workers sanitizing tables and signs reminding students to wear their mask and wash their hands.

Dr. Meza-Chavez said disposable trays will continue to be used and cafeterias will have one entrance and one exit. She said some students will not eat inside the cafeteria, but rather at their desk in their classroom.

Recess will change too.

"In terms of recess, we're trying to have any of those individual things that kids can go do out there as opposed to having where they congregate," Dr. Meza-Chavez said. "We are having to kind of think about it in a whole different way."

On September 8, the district welcomed back some students to campuses. Dr. Meza-Chavez said each campus had about 25 to 30 students return. As more students come back to school, she expects plans to change.

"This is our plan, but as we have the live bodies here, we're going to continue to adjust to improve it so that our parents feel safe," she said. "I don't even know what the new normal can be now, but this is going to be different."

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.


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