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Pleasant Valley back to 100 percent in-person learning, using dividers during lunch

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 6:26 PM CST
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RIVERDALE, IA (KWQC) - Pleasant Valley School District is using dividers between students at lunchtime in an effort to keep students safe during the pandemic.

Superintendent Brian Strusz says the district has been planning for the return to one hundred percent in-person learning this week. Part of that planning is safety at lunchtime when masks are not an option.

“When you are sitting at a cafeteria table you could have to quarantine eight to ten people pretty quickly. So we looked at that and said how can we minimize that to down to four to six people at the most having to be quarantined and that’s where the table dividers came into play,” says Strusz.

Each student sits between a divider to eat their lunch. PV says it’s just another way to keep students safe.

“Its like when you go out to a restaurant you have to be respectful to everyone around you and where your sitting and what the expectations of the business owner are. Same thing here in a school setting, it really is,” Strusz says.

PV says they still wanted to let kids socialize during lunch.

“We still wanted to give kids a chance to talk to each other at lunch because that’s so vitally important to have that social interaction to the left and right of them. Some are turning around and having conversations with the ones behind them but you can’t shut that down and so that was the design behind it,” says Strusz.

He says although the situation isn’t ideal, students are adapting.

“Our students are resilient. They truly are and when you talk to students about why we are doing things, they understand and they adapt. If you could walk down the hallways and see our students wearing their masks or willing to have their hands sanitized when they walk in a classroom. Our kids are phenomenal kids,” he says.

Pleasant Valley says see-through plexiglass dividers were not a practical option because they are heavy and too difficult to move quickly in time for the space to be used for other needs.

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