Are the kids going back to school next month? I’m Zulah Talmadge here in the newsroom of The Shady Pines Gazette. Every parent in town with young children wants to know the answer to that question. The trouble is, no one seems sure how to safely do that while we’re still dealing with this Covid 19 pandemic.

The number of cases here in Shady Pines Story Town are still low, but the hospital in nearby River City, reports a growing number of peopleare being treated with the virus. And, it’s not just older people. Young people are getting sick, too. Health care workers on the front lines are worried that things might get worse very quickly.

That’s why everyone is asking, “Is it too risky to open Shady Pines Elementary?” There are so many questions about how to keep not only the kids and teachers safe, but what about the bus drivers, the people who clean the school and who serve lunch in the cafeteria? What about them? 

Every parent, grandparent, and caregiver I’ve talked to wants their kids back in the classroom. They also want to make sure that everything possible will be done to make sure the kids stay healthy and don’t bring Coronavirus home to the family. No one wants to come down with that horrible virus, right? Some people believe young children are not as likely to get sick. But new information now shows that may not be true. READ ABOUT THAT HERE

Before the school buses roll again, we’re learning that a lot of safety measures need to be in place. Health experts say that everyone should wear masks and kids’ desks need to be six feet apart. There should be places where kids can wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. Posting pictures with instructions is also a good idea. And, what about recess? How will play time actually work with these new guidelines? 

All surfaces should be wiped down often. But, how often? What about buses? How far apart can kids actually sit in a limited space like that?

Some schools in other countries are having good results with new ways to handle even the way kids walk into school. In Denmark, for example, the children line up next to traffic cones placed six feet apart. Only ten students can be in a classroom at the same time. They’ve even fround a way to make social distancing kinda fun by turning it into a game called, Shadow Tag. The idea is for every child to tag one another’s shadow so they stay six feet apart and that way, they’re not touching.

There are a whole lot of folks in Shady Pines working to come up with the best solution to the problem of how to open our school. Scoop, my Cub Reporter, and I will stay on this story and continue to bring you updates. In the meantime, if you have heard some good ideas about how to open schools safely, by all means please share them with us in the comment section below.

Talk to you soon!