As the pandemic slowly comes to an end, schools in São Paulo, Brazil, welcome students for on-ground learning again, starting on Thursday, Oct. 8, after months of being closed.
Graded School, the American school of São Paulo, has taken safety measures extremely seriously and has invested a lot of money to secure the students and staff.
“Students will be required to wear masks at all times, in class, outside of class, when they’re on the field,” said Susan Butler, middle school counselor at Graded. “Around the lunch tables, there is plexiglass, which will add extra precaution.”
These precautions also include direction stickers on the floors, socially distanced desks, automatic soap and water dispensers, contactless thermometers and regular checkups.
Although Graded is taking all the right precautions, some teachers still do not feel confident about reopening to the students. Staff and students at Graded have mixed feelings about the reopening of schools. Butler is confident they are ready to go back safely.
“We are ready, and we are willing to take and receive feedback to make it safer and more secure for everybody as we go back,” said Butler.
“It will not be as they expect, because they will have to keep their distance, although they are together, they will not have recess as they usually do, or did,” said Lissa Anderson, 5th-grade assistant. “I do not know up to what extent this will be beneficial psychologically for the students.”
Upon the school’s opening, students are allowed on campus only two times per week, with their names on the list. Before this, people other than the principals, superintendents and limited staff were not allowed inside the grounds of Graded School.
Although some staff isn’t confident about this decision, students feel eager to go back, as they have been distanced for a while. Gabriel Trotter, a 6th grader, is looking forward to going back to school.
“I’m pretty excited for school coming back because it has been so long since we were on campus, and I would like to see a change from online learning,” said Trotter.
As schools in Brazil start to reopen, their safety measures are stricter than ever. Now it is just a matter of time to see how it turns out.