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St. Francis de Sales High School welcoming small groups into building for summer learning

Districts across the state are finalizing what a return to classrooms will look like for students and staff. This week, one school is testing out several methods.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Each year, St. Francis de Sales High School has its summer Review, Engage and Prepare program. 

This summer, things have looked different because of the coronavirus.

The school is following Gov. Mike DeWine's guidelines to reopening schools and is allowed to have students and teachers back into the classrooms for summer classes.

Small groups of people began entering the building Monday for the second session of a summer program that aims to keep students engaged and learning while they're not in school.

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According to Father Geoff Rose, the president of St. Francis de Sales, class sizes range from six to 11 while students socially distance in a classroom for 45 minutes. 

Rose said this wasn't the plan but it's definitely helping school leaders see what works and what might need to change.

"It's funny. In one sense we didn't intend this to be a trial run of the process, but it's certainly giving us that opportunity. So, a small group of students and a small group of the teachers get the opportunity to be in the classrooms to test through that process. It's certainly giving us valuable data for the fall," Rose said.

Rose said they're not taking any risks at the stage of re-entry because they want to be able to safely and confidently welcome everyone back in August.

When students arrive at the school, they have to answer a survey on how they feel, sanitize their hands and get their temperature taken.

They also have to wear a mask at all times when they enter the building. 

Re-entry to the building has only been allowed for a couple of days for the students and teachers. But Father Rose says they are happy to be back in the classrooms instead of learning online. The experience also gives them a feel for how school will look in the fall, he said. 

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