For the past six weeks, Elmwood Franklin School has been running a summer camp with about 200 students. There’s plenty of time spent outside playing, but there’s also a lot of inside learning.
It’s giving teachers, parents, and students the opportunity to adapt and learn about how to attend a school setting in a safe manner — and educators have learned plenty during this planning process. They say all-day mask wearing, social distancing and a new normal is all possible, even for the youngest children.
“We are going to take COVID as an opportunity, not as an obstacle. It’s an opportunity to create rituals, create modes of meaning for our kids, to make our program even better and even more enriched. So we think of it as an opportunity to get better,” said Dr. Keith Frome, Elmwood Franklin head of school.
If Governor Cuomo decides to send kids back to school, Elmwood Franklin will keep kids in pods, the same students in the same classroom all day, they will all be assigned specific bathrooms, eat lunch in their classrooms, and get occasional mask breaks.
And of course without knowing what the governor will decide, schools — whether they be private or public — have to be ready for everything. And Elmwood Franklin says they are ready for back to school, whether that’s in the home or in the classroom, or a combination of both.