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Santa Barbara school prepares to begin in-person instruction

Knox School of Santa Barbara
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After getting permission from the state to reopen, the Knox School of Santa Barbara will begin class under canopies on September 14th.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — After months of planning and preparation, students will soon be allowed to return to campus at The Knox School of Santa Barbara.

“We were thrilled,” Knox School executive director Angela Tanner said. “There are huge social emotional and intellectual benefits to having kids back on campus.”

Fulfilling numerous California Department of Public Health guidelines, the stand alone school for gifted children was granted a waiver to resume in-person school reopening. 

“We spent a lot of time as an administration team really putting together a plan that we think is going to keep our kids safe,” Knox School Director of Curriculum & Instruction Edie Lanphar said.

“I would imagine it’s months worth of work to identify all those protocols,” Tanner said. “To make sure you can implement them all.”

To safely reopen with COVID-19 safety procedures, the Knox School will begin class under canopies to safely distance students and staff.

“We’re going to move all of our learning outside,” Lanphar said. “We have awnings for each grade level.”

“For the time being, they’re going to be in stable cohorts without teacher and student crossover,” Tanner said.

The campus will be spaced out strategically, with multiple hand washing and hand sanitizing stations along with barriers blocking entry points. 

“Staggered entrance times and dismissal times,” Lanphar explained. “So one is leaving or entering the campus at the same time.”

The private school is quite compact, with only 25 K-6 students and eight faculty members. 

“Being small makes us very nimble,” Tanner said. “We’re able to implement these things more easily than a school with a few thousand children.”

All staff members will be tested monthly for COVID-19.

“We’re hoping that we can be a small model for how in can be done in bigger populations,” Lanphar concluded. 

The Knox School of Santa Barbara will welcome its students back on Monday, September 14th. 

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Blake DeVine

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