Walton County students head back to school

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 4:46 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Freeport High School Principal, Donna Simmons, said the first day of school is as normal as it could be during a time like this.

However, the school may not look exactly like it did before the pandemic.

Now in between classes, students at Freeport High School travel down one-way hallways divided by a rope.

Other changes include only allowing students to use the bathroom during class and staggering lunchtimes.

“We’ve staggered our lunch release times so that there are less kids in line and we can practice social distancing,” Simmons said. “We have dots down on our floor to maintain that social distancing there.”

Teachers are also sanitizing their rooms between classes and after school ends.

Schools across Walton County are also making their own changes.

“Some of our schools are rotating teachers so we don’t have a lot of exposure and interaction between classes. Some of our schools are doing block schedules,” Walton County Schools Superintendent A. Russell Hughes said.

Even though masks aren’t mandated in schools, Superintendent Hughes said most students are choosing to wear them.

“I’m seeing more than 95, 98% of students in the hallways wearing masks as we asked them to. So, it’s going great,” Superintendent Hughes said.

Both Hughes and Simmons have high hopes for the rest of the school year.

“If students will be this compliant the rest of the year and this excited about school... we’re going to have a very successful school year,” Simmons said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen students this ready to come back to school.”

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