TAMPA, Fla. - As Bay Area private schools begin reopening for the new school year, one local school is teaming up with AdventHealth Carrollwood in an effort to keep students as safe as possible.
Bayshore Christian School welcomed students back on August 12 for the first time since the pandemic sent students home in the spring.
In a nearly five-minute Facebook Live video broadcast from the school on Tuesday, principal Melanie Humenansky gave a walk-through of the safety protocols in place. Beginning on the first day, administrators will give parents a COVID-19 questionnaire as they drop off their students in the morning.
If parents get the green light, administrators will take students’ temperatures and have them sanitize their hands before they enter classrooms. If there is a question about a student's health, Humenansky explained, parents will be asked to pull over for further questions and a hospital-grade temperature check.
Additionally, at the recommendation of medical experts from AdventHealth Carrollwood, the campus has added more outdoor seating for lunch with limited capacity in the cafeteria.
All students and staff must wear masks for the duration of the school day on campus. New outdoor sinks have also been installed for hand-washing. Students will notice new signage on the ground reminding them to stay six feet apart, along with arrows to direct the flow of foot traffic.
In a joint announcement from Bayshore Christian and AdventHealth, officials announced that the hospital provided school officials with key strategies and implementation plans to assist the K-12 school in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom setting.
“As the Head of School at Bayshore Christian School, I am grateful to have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with AdventHealth as a community partner,” principal Melanie Humenansky said in the announcement. “This relationship validates the decision-making of the school’s administration in confirming we are taking the right steps in keeping our students safe. The recommendations were openly received, and we have purchased the suggested additional items and look forward to implementing the processes for the opening of the school year."
Bayshore Christian is one of several local private schools making changes to deal with COVID-19. Despite the comprehensive safety plans in place, some school leaders are warning that moving to distance-learning may be required under a government mandate depending on the rate of infection.