Superintendent talks about student safety and learning
Tuba City Unified School District re-opened for in-person learning Aug. 2 with a mask mandate and fall sports on for now. (Gilbert Honanie/NHO)
Safety during in-person learning
Maurer said he, faculty and staff have spent a lot of time working with the community on what re-opening would look like. The school district reopened Aug. 2.
“There wasn’t a question that we were going to re-open,” he said. “As soon as I came on board, I said, ‘We are going back to in-person learning and it is my goal to have 100 percent of the children back to in-person learning. That was the bar. For kindergarten through fifth grade, we have 85 percent in-person learning right now.”
Maurer said that with the district’s instructional model, it allows for choice, which includes a remote instruction model for students. For kindergarten through fifth grade, that means a live teacher presenting a lesson. Then there is a learning management system (LMS) that’s for independent practice or re-teaching if a students does not understand a single concept in a lesson. They can access the LMS for a video about the concept they need help with.
There are also other mitigation strategies around the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems at the schools.
“We’ve actually put in a system that’s an ionizer into our building and an HVAC that monitors the air quality in the rooms,” Maurer said. “If the air quality starts to falter, this [system] zaps the room. It kills like 99.94 percent.”
The new system is in place in all of the building except for some parts of building that are old and have significant issues with the HVAC systems.