SANTA BARBARA, Calif - Staff and students at Adams Elementary School are preparing for additional in-person cohorts, starting Monday.
Principal Kelly Fresch said so far, four cohort have been in the works for more than a month and two additional groups will be added, one Monday and one on Tuesday -- a primary grade cohort and one for the upper grade.
"We've been preparing the classrooms, making sure the desks are six feet apart, we have all of the necessary PPE in place," said Fresch. "The staff's been trained and we're excited about bringing the kids back on campus."
Back in September, SBUSD officials stated that in-person cohorts would cater to students who are struggling with the distance learning model during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike some of the other public schools in the community, this particular classroom at Adams Elementary does not have plexiglass barriers.
"That's not something that's being provided district-wide and there's conflicting research about the safety of the plexiglass," said Fresch. "My feeling is that it's a sense of safety, probably to students and staff and that's why it's important, but it's not something we're providing right now for all desks."
Fresch said a parent group is working with UCSB in hopes of getting plexiglass barriers at some point for the school. The cost is roughly $30 dollars per desk.
Meantime, Fresch said there are "536 Tigers" (the school mascot) and 268 of the students will attend classes in-person each day during the hybrid model. That starts January 19 for all schools in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
"In my 25 years as an educator, no two years ever look alike," said Fresch. "But, this is definitely a challenge and unique and it's my role to continue to support the staff and students with anything that comes our way and this year, we're trying to stay positive and most importantly, keep our students safe."