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Santa Barbara school reopens, moves classes outdoors

School Reopening
Blake DeVine/KEYT
The Knox School of Santa Barbara was granted a waiver from the public health department to resume in-person instruction.
The Knox School of Santa Barbara
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The Knox School of Santa Barbara will begin class outdoors to safely distance its students and staff.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Knox School of Santa Barbara headed back to the classroom for in-person classes on Monday.

"So exciting, we've been looking forward to this day for months,” Head of Knox School Kari Ramirez said. “We can feel the energy already."

"You know I forgot how fun school was, I'm just so happy to be back,” fourth grade student Taggart Turner said. “It’s so great being here."

After beginning the fall with three weeks of distance learning, students were eager to enjoy class together again.

"A teacher wasn't sitting next to you or with you,” a first grade student named Gigi explained. “So it was hard to hear or you just couldn't have help."

The stand alone school for gifted children was recently granted a waiver from the public health department to resume in-person instruction. 

"To be here is great for academic purposes because the teacher can help you and you can interact,” sixth grade student Andrew Tanner said. “Although we are still keeping far apart and wearing masks.”

"They're next to you, they can help you, they give you colors if you don't have any,” Gigi said. “It's just really a lot better."

Yet it’s still far from normal, as classes were held outdoors under canopies to make sure students were safely spaced apart.

"I think it's nicer than inside honestly,” Tanner said. “Just being the good weather of Santa Barbara."

"Nice having the air,” Turner said. “You can go under a tent if you want, which is another bonus."

The entire campus was spaced out strategically, with specifically labeled walkways, sanitizing stations and barriers blocking entry points.

Students had staggered entrance and dismissal times.

"We're excited to offer this opportunity for the kids and families,” Ramirez concluded. “We just hope that other schools can look forward to the same very soon."

In the case that any COVID-19 cases are reported on campus, the Knox School has detailed plans and procedures set in place.

The entire staff will be tested monthly for the coronavirus. 

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