Centner Academy, one of the first schools in the U.S. to prioritize happiness and emotional intelligence alongside academics and leadership, will be reopening its school campuses for students in PK2 to 8th grade on September 8, 2020 for in-person classes.
During the first week of school, Centner Academy will be implementing a retreat-style learning method where the focus will be on students learning the school culture through team-building activities as opposed to just reviewing school rules.
“At Centner Academy, we’re striving for every child to leave the first week of school happy and excited for the rest of the year,” said Leila Centner, co-founder of Centner Academy. “A positive school climate and culture promotes students’ ability to learn and succeed in life. Our goal is to transform the heart of education to ensure happy, confident, compassionate, mindful, empathetic and connected children through a more holistic approach to teaching that responds to social challenges.”
In preparation for the reopening, Centner Academy will follow CDC guidelines and implement new safety and sanitation precautions, processes and policies for the health and physical well-being of children, teachers and staff, including:
- Facility modifications, such as the installation of Germicidal Ultraviolet Lights inside HVAC systems located in all classrooms, bathrooms and elevators, to destroy harmful microorganisms, including mold, mildew, fungi, bacteria, and viruses like COVID-19, eliminate bad odors, and purify the air; as well as the installation of electrostatic air purifiers in common areas to remove contaminants from the air and improve air quality; and re-equipment of all HVAC systems with advanced filters to mechanically purify the air.
- Enhanced cleaning training and routines: All faculty, staff, and students will have training on hygiene requirements and cleaning practices, and cleaning crews will be doing hourly sanitization of surfaces and nightly deep cleaning and sanitizing.
- Temperature screenings: The school asks that all parents screen their child’s temperature before coming to school, and will do temperature checks upon arrival for all visitors with thermal cameras and no-touch sensors.
- Stay home requirements: The school’s sick policy has been updated to include a required stay-home clause for any individual who is feeling unwell, with at least 48 hours of being symptom-free before returning to school (this includes students, visitors, faculty and staff).
- Small class sizes: Centner Academy boasts small classes sizes as a normal part of the student experience and will continue to look to research and science to inform the safest class size, both for student health and social-emotional wellness.
- No large group gatherings: Students will eat in their classrooms rather than in a large cafeteria space to adhere to CDC recommendations on group sizes.
- Indoor shoes: All students will remove their outdoor shoes at school and wear indoor shoes instead, reducing the possibility for outdoor contaminants to enter the building.
- Anti-bullying software in school computers: Centner Academy is installing STOPit, an award-winning software platform that mitigates, deters and controls inappropriate conduct in schools and allows students to report inappropriate behavior anonymously via mobile app, web, or phone hotline service.
“We are committed to reassessing these policies and procedures at least monthly, increasing and reducing restrictions as needed to keep our community safe, happy and strong,” stated Leila Centner.
Photo Credit Armando Colls