Bishop McCort making changes inside the classroom and the lunchroom to keep students safe

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JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Schools across the country continue to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic just as districts get ready to open their doors. One Cambria County school is adjusting how they keep students safe in the classroom and also the cafeteria.

Students at Bishop McCort will be welcomed back over the course of a three day orientation period to help students get acquainted with all of the changes.

“We’ll have different signage posted throughout the building for the students in the hallways in relation to one-way entries and one-way hallways, different ways they have to walk through the hallways. When they’re in the hallways and in transition, they’ll have to have their masks on,” said Tom Smith, Principal at Bishop McCort. “Once they enter their classrooms and properly social distance they’ll be able to sit down at their desk and take their mask off.”

For the most part, Smith says they won’t have to do too much rearranging in the classroom because of their size.

“We have a smaller population which enables us to have on average around 12 students per class…which enables us to social distance in that classroom pretty easily.”

Instead of having 150 kids eating lunch at once, Smith says they’ll add another cafeteria.

“We’re going to have between 50 and 60 in the cafeteria rather than a 15. We have it set up so that the kids are socially distanced at two at a table sitting side by side instead of face to face. We’ve also created an overflow area for that. The Bach Gym which is right down the hall from here will be conerted into a cafeteria.”

He adds that Bishop McCort is ready if the pandemic ramps back up.

“We believe we can make a seemless transition moving into online classrooms but we also believe we can make seemless transition coming if we have to have a two week break for whatever reason and go online for two weeks, we can come back two weeks later and pickup where we were.”

In addition to those changes, McCort has put in temperature checks at all five entry points and will be adding sanitation stations to each classroom.

Smith says more information will be released to parents in the coming days.

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