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Tombstone Unified School District sees over 50% of students return to campus

Safely Back to School
Posted at 9:24 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 14:06:24-04

TOMBSTONE, Ariz. — TOMBSTONE, Ariz. -- Public schools are embarking on a grand experiment, balancing student safety with their academic, social, and student needs -- the Tombstone Unified School District is among them.

Superintendent Robert Devere says the decision to allow students back on campus was a critical one.

“The parents were very strong on we would like to go back, although not unanimous. Teachers were much more split on it,” he told KGUN9.

He says out of the roughly 950 students in the district, just over 50 percent of them went to campus for in-person learning on the first day of school.

“That is through three schools in the district. We have two K-8 schools and a high school,” he added.

It’s a percentage he feels makes it easier to abide by CDC guidelines.

“It’s allowing us to do social distancing in the classrooms. Put in traffic patterns in the hallways, Keep them largely six feet apart. Hand washing stations or hand hygiene stations with sanitizers are throughout the district. Last thing we are doing is temperature checking every employee, every kid,” said the Superintendent.

Recess, P.E., and band classes are still happening, with social distancing in place.

All students must wear masks unless they can be at least six-feet apart.

“It’s working out okay and it’ll get better each day. Today was a little better than yesterday. Tomorrow will be a little better than today,” he told KGUN9.

While Superintendent Devere says there will be bumps on the road, with technology and updated protocols, he’s hopeful this non-traditional school year will be a great one.

“We’re going to do everything we can. We’re going to work with the parents and regardless of what they want, we’re going to give their kids a great education. Whether it’s on campus, hybrid environment, or at home, we’re going to give them a great education.” he said.