Desert Sands Unified students in Pre-K through 5th grade are returning to their classrooms this week.
The district has a hybrid return plan in place, meaning students will alternate learning inside the classroom with distance learning from home throughout the week. DSUSD was the first valley school district to get its COVID-19 safety plans approved by the county and state.
As far as safety changes, district representatives explain students will find distancing markers on the ground. In each classroom, HEPA air filters have been installed, and there will be either a sink or hand-washing station.
Students will sit 6 feet apart with their desks partitioned off using plexiglass dividers.
In the district's hybrid learning model, students are divided into two cohorts, with half the class switching off at home two days a week. But thanks touch interactive LFD screens in each classroom, the distance group will be able to participate and follow along with their peers in class.
News Channel 3's Madison Weil visited Andrew Jackson Elementary and spoke with Principal Dr. Jose Montaño about the hybrid changes.
“Monday and Tuesday our Cohort A students are here...on Thursdays and Fridays our Cohort B students are on campus. When the students are not here, they’ll be at home doing their distance learning at the same time with their classmates," he explained. "They're going to continue with same instruction whether they're at home or at school. The only difference is they're either with the live person here or [at home] on a screen."
Families can also expect changes to the way students are picked up on certain DSUSD campuses. To prevent students from gathering outside in large groups while waiting to be picked up, students will be asked to stay inside the classroom and be alerted when someone has arrived.
Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage on DSUSD students and their return to school.