MEDFORD, Ore.--- In late December, Governor Kate Brown gave Oregon schools the goal of reopening come mid-February. While many schools are getting ready to welcome students back into classrooms, some are ready to open as early as next week.
Sacred Heart School will be reopening on January 19th for kindergarten through 8th grade.
Sharon Levesque, principal at Sacred Heart said that changes have been made to make sure everyone is safe— and that's including parents picking up or dropping off their children. A special route has been designed for parents to follow and it avaible on the school's website.
She also said this reopening comes with a lot of preparation in mind-- with health and safety being the number one priority. It first started at home, by educating families on what signs or symptoms of covid-19 to look for before bringing the student to school.
And like many of the parents, prinicipal Levesque said she can't wait to reopen.
"I am very excited. It's something our parent community has been pushing for for a very long time," Levesque said. "We've had other schools opening in the area and now it's finally our turn."
When students get to school they will go through a screening before they are able to enter the building.
"Once they're in the classroom, they'll wash their hands. Then they sit at their desk and there's a 35 square foot perimeter around them that the desks are separated by," Levesque said.
She said the school is also looking into getting sneeze guards for lunchtime when the students are not wearing their masks.
Tia Mckenzie is apart of the student advisory committee at Sacred Heart and says the students miss going to school.
"I think my son's going to be so much happier and so much full of life," Mckenzie said. "I think a lot of kids have really gotten addicted to screens and technology, and this is an opportunity for them to be away from that again, eight hours a day, interacting with their peers."
Parents with kids in preschool or pre-k who have been coming to in-person learning since September, say they are confident with the precautions the school has in place.
"The school has a small enough population where, um, they are able to maintain the small cohorts, they're able to maintain the distance within the classroom," Maria Lee said.
Another parents, Samara Winchell said her preschooler is also excited to see the older kids back in the building.
"At sacred heart, the upstairs is the middle school students," Winchell said. "And so she's very excited when they come back to see kids actually be able to go up."