SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Several Savannah private schools are heading back to class this week, including the cadets at Benedictine Military School.
Monday is BC’s first day of the new school year, and a number of precautions have been implemented to help protect the students and faculty members from COVID-19. And those precautions will begin as soon as the cadet wakes up. Each student has downloaded an app on their phone. The app will ask them a number of questions and each cadet must get a green light from the app before entering the school building. In addition, each cadet, as well as all visitors, will be required to check-in using a device at the entrance of the school. It takes your temperature and checks to see if you are wearing a face mask. All cadets, faculty members, and visitors will be required to wear a face mask.
The school says special technology has also been added to the building’s vent system in order to clean the air.
The staff at Benedictine says they have been planning for the first day back since March and the cadets are just ready to be back together again.
"The cadets want to socialize and be together. Many of them haven't been together in five months. We understand that but we are going to be very vigilant about keeping their distance," Peter Newman, Director of Curriculum.
BC is also using a blended learning model, which means that half of the cadets will go to school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then learn from home on Tuesday and Thursday. The other group of students will have in-class learning on Tuesday and Thursday and learn from home Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They will then switch out the next week.
BC says this model means only around eight to nine cadets will be in a classroom at a time.
The students at Saint Vincent’s Academy are also headed back to the classroom Monday.
SVA President Mary Anne Hogan says according to a survey from parents, they expect to see about 93-percent of their students in-person while the rest will be doing virtual schooling.
The school says students will have their temperatures taken each morning before entering the building. Classroom sizes will be smaller, and the girls will have assigned seating inside their classrooms and the cafeteria. The school says that will help with their contact tracing when signs of COVID-19 come up.
Students will also be required to wear masks while on campus. The school has installed air filtration systems in all of the classrooms as well as hand sanitizer stations throughout campus.
Saint Vincent's Academy welcomed 76 new students in their freshman class. Each student was given a facemask and sanitizer at orientation last week.
The academy says a lot of hard work and diligence has gone into reopening this school year during a pandemic.
In the WTOC Viewing Area, students in Bacon County are also heading back to school Monday. They’ve offered the option of virtual learning or in-person learning for their students this year as well.