PHOTOS: A look inside schools heading into the academic year

The Colchester School District allowed the Sun to see what it will look like inside a couple of its buildings at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. While some areas of the schools might look just the same to students, others will be noticeably different due to safety measures implemented to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Trudy Cioffi’s third grade classroom at Malletts Bay School.

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Classrooms will have a desk for teacher-student interaction that includes a plexiglass partition. 

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A wall painted by MBS art teacher Hannah Terracino welcomes back the school’s students.

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Since the cafeterias will not be used to serve food during the day, one of the functions of that at Malletts Bay School will be to line up students for dismissal. These floor stickers have been put down to help direct students where to stand so to maintain physical distancing. 

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Families of students at Malletts Bay School can expect to see these signs outside in the driveway when they approach to drop off or pick up students.

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The entrance and main office of Malletts Bay School looks a little different this year.

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To help prevent sharing of items between students, each classroom at Malletts Bay School has been provided a bag with physical activity equipment.

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Hand sanitizer stations are abundant throughout the district’s schools, this one outside of the MBS nurse’s office being one of the first that people will encounter when entering the school.

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Signs like this are also abundant, stressing the importance of wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing.

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The outside of each classroom will look similar to this. Since students will be eating their meals in classrooms, instead of the cafeteria, garbage cans and compost buckets have been placed to dispose of the waste. There are also sign-in sheets for visitors of each room so to help with contact tracing if needed.

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The MBS preschool has floor markings to help the children know where they’re supposed to stand while lining up to wash their hands in order to maintain physical distancing.

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The MBS preschool also has stars on the floor to help children know where to sit so they can maintain physical distancing.

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Instead of physical greetings like have been done in the past at the MBS preschool, students will instead pick one of these options.

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The MBS preschool is set up with four-way transparent partitions on the tables so that children can sit at the same table with a layer of safety between them.

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MBS Principal Jordan Burke holds one of the signs that will be displayed throughout the building, expressing what Oscar the Osprey wants its students to do in order to stay safe.

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Malletts Bay School has invested in pencil boxes, as well as breakaway lanyards for students to attach their masks to so that they can easily take them off when permissible.

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Each school in the Colchester School District has a large outdoor tent, like pictured here on the grounds of Malletts Bay School. The primary purpose is for physical education classes since those will not be permitted inside of buildings, but other classes might utilize them on occasion. Seen here is MBS staff undergoing training prior to the start of the school year.


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The main entrance to Colchester High has markings on the walkway leading to the doors directing students where to stand as they await their screening.

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One of the two tents set up at Colchester High for outdoor instruction.

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Outdoor instruction will be pivotal and used as much as possible while weather permits. Signs like these will help students know which area they’re supposed to be going to for their respective classes.

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One side of the Colchester High cafeteria has been dedicated to making and organizing the free meals program for the whole district since March. 

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The Colchester High main office has been outfitted with transparent partitions to help with the safety of staff and those going into the office.

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Floor signage helps direct foot traffic and aims to keep students at Colchester High on one side of the hallway or the other.

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Visitors to this Colchester High lab classroom might not notice anything unusual, but district staff says students will surely see a difference.

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The Colchester High library has a hand sanitizer station ready outside, as well as a bin to quickly and easily drop off books and other materials.

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Regular water fountains have been turned off, but students will be able to refill their bottles at stations like these.

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The other side of the Colchester High cafeteria has been dedicated to be a “homebase” for students entering the building, similar to a traditional homeroom. It will also be where students who are later brought to tech centers will wait for transportation.

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Caddies like these will be in each classroom of the district with cleaning supplies and a contact tracing sheet.


Colchester Sun

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