Temperature checks, hand sanitizer and more: Inside how an Atlanta school is keeping students safe

ATLANTA — In order to keep schools open for in-person learning, school districts across the state are changing up their strategies to keep COVID-19 cases low.

Atlanta Public Schools are doing several things differently several times to a day to give them the best chance to be successful when it comes to containing COVID-19.

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When students walk up to the front door of Burgess Peterson Academy, they have to stop and get their temperature checked. As they walk into the school, they have to sanitize their hands.

Students are keeping their masks on and keeping a good distance from one another so they can continue doing the things they enjoy about being in school.

“We recognize that absolutely impacts their social emotional wellness,” APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring told Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes.

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Dr. Herring said the decision on whether to open schools back up was a difficult one, and when she decided to do so, she knew it wouldn’t be easy.

“We have zero regrets with the decision. Hindsight being 20/20, you can always think of other ways but the entire thought was, if we can bring our scholars in, we can do as best we can,” she said.

Their best includes making sure students are checking their temperature and using hand sanitizer several times throughout the day.

When students have lunch, they are spread out across the cafeteria, signs that read “Seats are unavailable,” are spread out to encourage social distancing.

Teachers are using air purifiers and fans to keep the air inside the classrooms clean.

Burgess Peterson Academy Assistant Principal Sabrina Hayes says surveillance testing is one of their best weapons against COVID-19.

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“It is key to our procedures and APS, and we are thankful that as a district that’s something that we’re continuing to do throughout the rest of this year,” Hayes said.

Surveillance testing is optional for staff right now, but will be required after Labor Day.