GICC prepares to bring students back to class safely

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 11:25 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The new school year is only a week away for Grand Island’s Central Catholic. The staff comes back on Wednesday and many are really excited to see their students again. Many of the teachers haven’t seen them since class was moved virtual in March. They will be back fully in person this semester starting Wednesday.

To help keep everyone safe, the school will hand out two masks to each students. They will be asked to wear them for a majority of their time in the buildings. In smaller classes with fewer people who are able to spread out, masks may be allowed to come off.

Principal Jordan Engle says he knows this may not be what the kids wanted for the new yea, but it’s really about keeping them, their teachers and their families safe.

“If you talk to the medical professionals in town, there’s very little concern for students getting sick,” Engle said. “It’s possible, but the overwhelming concern is of course keeping our parents, grandparents and compromised individuals healthy. Making sure students don’t turn into spreaders is a big thing.”

Also to help prevent the spread, sports will look a bit different this fall. Coaches and athletes on the sidelines are required to have a mask on, but not while actually playing a sport. It will also be a bit different for fans in the crowds.

“Fans will have to sit every other row to keep the six foot distance, spread out the kids in our student sections,” Activities Director Dick Ross said. “Here in our gyms for volleyball games, we’re probably going to have to put Xs on the seats to spread people out. As long as they sit with their families it’s okay, but otherwise they need to keep the six foot distance.”

While he says he knows this isn’t ideal for sports, he’s just glad to have a fall season.

“The NSAA gave us approval today that all fall sports will begin on August 10,” Ross said. “We will go with whatever happens will happen and hopefully we get games in. It may be a week to week decision or even a day to day.”

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