Parkland School District leaders: District health and safety plan is working with ‘minor adjustments’ as needed

Written by on September 2, 2021

Parkland School District leaders: District health and safety plan is working with ‘minor adjustments’ as needed

By Chloe Nouvelle

September 2, 2021

A student raises their hand in a classroom. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

In the Parkland School District, 97% of students returned for in-person instruction on Aug. 30. 

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Three days into the new school year, Parkland’s Assistant Superintendent, Michelle Minotti, said she and her colleagues were happy with the federally-required health and safety plan they developed for the district’s 12 schools which was approved by the Parkland School Board on July 27. 

Minotti added that Parkland’s schools are making minor changes to procedures as needed, such as in cases where crowding among students is occurring. 

“We’ve had little adjustments along the way. You know, traffic patterns in the hallway,” Minotti said. 

At Parkland’s Cetronia Elementary School, principal Jamie Giaquinto welcomed around 480 5 to 10-year-olds back into his building this week. 

Despite his school’s in-person population size, Giaquinto said they only needed to make minor tweaks to classroom spacing.

“In the majority of our classrooms, the goal is to keep that 3 feet in between students,” Giaquinto said. 

But Giaquinto stressed that teaching in the pandemic for 180 days last year prepared the district for what they’re experiencing now. 

When it comes to one of Parkland’s middle schools, Orefield Middle School Principal Todd Gombos said their challenge has been creating space for students to be socially distanced during lunch. Gombos said around 1,000 students have returned for in-person instruction at Orefield. 

“We did have to take away half of our gymnasium to spread students out adequately for eating purposes,” Gombos said. 

Assistant Superintendent Minotti said, at the end of the day, they’re all working to keep kids safe and schools open five days a week. 

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