NewsGetting Back to School


Peoria District testing safety measures as students return for summer camp

Peoria School District
Posted at 7:56 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 01:36:30-04

PEORIA, AZ — Only ABC15's Danielle Lerner got exclusive access to see how one district is keeping students and staff safe.

A temperature check and health screening from a school nurse, that is how all visitors, students and staff start their day at Kids Zone Ed Camp in the Peoria School District.

"Normally we have 20 to 24 in a classroom and so during this summer camp we only have nine in the classroom," said Ashley Worrell, the district's Kid Zone director.

Registration was capped at two classrooms, on three campuses throughout the district. There is now a waiting list since every spot filled in less than an hour.

"The biggest question that we had is, what does social distancing in the classroom look like?" Worrell said.

On the Frontier Elementary School campus, siblings are grouped together. The kids sit side-by-side, a safer option, the district says, than facing one another six feet apart. Each student has their own materials. There are distancing markers on the floor, increased hand washing and a staff member solely dedicated to sanitizing toys, supplies and places where groups may gather. Wearing a mask is allowed but not required.

"They can have those meaningful interactions with their peers and we'll be taking the steps needed so that way they're still safe in the classroom," said Worrell.

Other preventative measures include:

-Temperature checks at 11am and 3pm daily
-Individually packaged meals eaten in class
-No field trips
-Isolation areas for anyone who looks or feels sick

Some of these steps will not be possible with hundreds of kids on campus in the fall. Despite that fact, the district says the summer program is a good testing ground to get a better idea of what works and what does not.