Colorado charter school taking extra precautions to prevent spread of COVID-19

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 03:00:15-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — As the school year approaches, there is much debate about whether children should return in-person or online.

Coperni 3, a local charter school, has been doing in-person as well as online all summer long and will continue into the fall. The school has strict health and safety guidelines.

There are two temperature checks throughout the day, before children enter the building and another one during lunch time.

Students are placed into cohorts which means there are ten that stay together throughout the entire day. If a teacher has more than ten students, there is overflow in a nearby location.

The overflow is taught by learning coaches and there are cameras in the area for teachers to monitor and interact with them.

"We have ten kids in here with us than ten kids in the overflow. They're able to watch us on zoom and able to hear us on Echo Dot while they're out there," said Sabrina Davis, first grade teacher. "They have a learning coach out there to make sure they're sticking with us in here. We also have them projected on the wall so we can see those kids out there."

Coperni 3 offers in-person learning, online remote, and hybrid which is case by case. For children remote, teachers use a web camera, zoom and wireless microphone.

"It's hard because they want to be here in the classroom, but we try to involve them as much as we can. Call on them, making sure they feel a part of our environment here," said Davis.

Teachers and students wear masks, but students can take them off while sitting down at their desk. If a student forgets their masks, staff can provide them with one.

The staff says students have done well to adhere to the safety guidelines.

"The children learn very quickly and they have been doing very well learning the process. Wearing their masks during transition between buildings," said Cristina Rodriguez, officer manager.

Along with the custodial staff, Coperni 3 hired two additional workers to help clean throughout the building. They wipe down door knobs, desks, and commonly used surfaces. The school also hired a paraprofessional to monitor bathroom use. If the students are in the same cohort, they can use it together, but if they're in different cohorts, they have to go one at a time.

Fatimi Espin is a paraprofessional and parent at Coperni 3. She says these precautions help keep her mind at ease.

"As a parent, we are always being sent emails about what is going on. There is also a video that parents can go to that show parents how exactly they do social distancing, masks and temperature checks," said Espin.

Espin says she appreciates that the school has a set plan when it comes to keeping children safe.

Coperni 3 is still enrolling for the fall. Anyone interested in enrolling their child can click here.