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Inside look at changes to kindergarten classroom within Lebanon schools

LEBANON, Ind. (WISH) — The pandemic has forced teachers to make changes and create a new model inside the classroom.

Nine percent of the Lebanon Community School Corporation’s 3,300 students will be taking part in remote learning. For parents who are sending their children back to the classroom, there are new guidelines and procedures to keep your child safe.

Jocelyn Taylor has been a teacher for 21 years. This year marks her 22nd year of teaching. She is a kindergartner teacher at Perry-Worth Elementary with the Lebanon Community School Corporation.

“We’re all in this together there are going to be changes how we do school but luckily they’re kindergartners so they don’t know any different,” she said.

There is a new set of rules for teachers due to the pandemic and it’s taking some time for them to prepare.

“The entire thing is going to be hard for teaching,” Taylor said. “We’re going to be policing more.”

Desks have to be spread three feet apart and students all have to be faced the same way. There is no floor learning, high-fives, sharing or hugging. Plus, masks are required.

“Kindergartners, they use heir hands a lot, they have their hands on their face and they’ll need a break just like teachers will need a break,” the longtime teacher said.

There are scheduled bathroom breaks, time to fill up water bottles and at recess, students can only play with their classmates. But Taylor says it’s better than working behind a computer screen.

“They need hands-on, fine motor skills, social interaction with kids,” she said. “They need that social, emotional learning.”

The school district has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new technology, plexiglass dividers and new air filtration to help reduce virus particles.

“Everything that we can do to share what this make look like to our families has hopefully provided them with some peace before they head into the school year,” Lebanon Community School Corporation director of communications Jen Todderud said.

For parents wondering, masks can come off if students are working independently at their desks. But when moving around, it’s required to stay on.

Students in grades six through 12 are in-person two days a week and virtual three days a week. They are working on an alternate schedule. The district says this makes about 50% of students in the building at one time.