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Teachers in Palm Beach County make final preparations before in-person learning starts Monday

77 teachers approved to continue working remotely
Jacqueline Major
Posted at 4:06 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 18:42:22-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Only a few days remain before Palm Beach County begins brick-and-mortar instruction for students who selected that option.

Teachers say they are getting ready for what they call the "unknown." This includes getting creative to prepare their classroom for in-person instruction.

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Photos have surfaced on social media of transparent curtains in the classroom and makeshift shields around teachers' desks.

Jacqueline Major said her classroom adheres to CDC guidelines. Student desks are 6 feet apart, and she is as ready as she can be for the first day of in-person learning.

"I'm going to continue to do what I can to be there for my kids because they rely on me. The parents are relying on me. The community is relying on me, and my family is relying on me," Major said.

She'll be teaching English and intensive reading to students in grades 9 to 12 at South Intensive Transition School, an alternative school in the Palm Beach County School District.

Palm Beach County classroom
Classrooms in Palm Beach County will be configured according to CDC guidelines, which includes desks 6 feet apart.

Major said most of the students that she teaches will continue online learning Monday, but she will be teaching a group of students in person simultaneously.

"My school deals with a demographic that has been hit particularly hard by this virus. I'm a single parent. I have an 86-year-old father that I do take care of," Major said.

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But she said she is not afraid, even though many teachers have reasons to be concerned about contracting COVID-19.

As of Thursday, the school district says 2,700 employees have applied for remote work. So far, 77 teachers have been approved to continue working remotely on Monday, but the school district said that number is "growing daily."

"If we can get through this, which I'm sure we will, we can handle anything, and that's where I'm putting all my eggs in that basket," Major said.

Teachers will also receive plexiglass shields once those arrive and are installed.

Major said they have personal protective equipment, masks and face shields at her school.

She said it is going to take help from parents to make sure all students are going to school healthy.