As many students and teachers want to get back to campus, Poway Unified School District has allowed schools, including Poway High, to let Special Education classes open up first in the process of going back to campus in-person as soon as Sept. 24.
“The state has afforded us the opportunity to support students who traditionally struggle in a school academic environment the most,” Assistant Principal Gannon Burks said. Opening up campus for a limited number of students creates a safe and normal environment where they can learn better and excel, according to Burks.
But of course, opening up earlier requires a plan.
“We are working on phasing in programs one by one. Many factors go into this such as transportation, cleaning/sanitizing, and staffing. Students will have to wear masks just like the teachers,” Specialized Academic Teacher and Special Education Department Chairperson Mindy Karp said.
Some of these measures can pose problems that teachers will have to face. Karp is particularly concerned with the time it will take to clean classrooms between every single class period. These extra measures are going to require extra money, and will rob teachers their time to plan lessons or get a break.
“Health and safety remains our most important concerns and that we are ensuring that all protocols are followed daily.” Principal Richard Nash said. Nash is optimistic that the school can adapt to these protocols and create a safe and healthy learning environment for Special Education classes.
Once Special Education classes return successfully, the administration team also hopes to bring back other clubs and organizations in the near future, like band, robotics, dance and cheerleading.