Students return to Antioch elementary schools in Learning Centers

Students do their school work as a teacher and aid assist, in the 3rd-5th Grade Learning Center at Lone Tree Elementary on the first day open, April 20, 2021.

42 opened Tuesday; more will open at the middle and high schools next week

“It’s so good to have the kids back” – Lone Tree Elementary Principal Crystal Berry

Kindergarten-2nd Grade Learning Center at Lone Tree Elementary.

By Allen Payton

As part of the Antioch Unified School District’s new model for schools during the remainder of the school year, Learning Centers opened in all elementary schools on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. It has allowed some students to return to school for the first time in a year. Reopening the schools in this manner qualifies district to receive state funds for school reopening of over $4.5 million. (See related article)

“We opened 42 learning centers and 31 SDC classes for special education students at elementary schools,” Superintendent Stephanie Anello said. “Middle and high schools start next week.”

One of the schools is Lone Tree Elementary where 77 students attended on Tuesday. This reporter toured the school and Learning Center with Board Vice President Dr. Clyde Lewis

The Wellness Center on the stage of the multipurpose room at Lone Tree Elementary.

School Vice Principal Gretchen Gaudy greeted us and explained the process for students to enter the campus, each day.

“There is both an AM and PM group. The AM group checks in at 7:45 a.m.,” she shared. “Each one comes for three hours. They check in with a QR code to complete a health screener, if their patents haven’t already taken the survey at home.”

“The students enter the multipurpose room and are screened by a thermal scanner,” Gaudy explained. “If their temperature is over 100.4 then they’re taken to the wellness area and their parents are called, if they’ve already left, to have them picked up and taken home.”

The scanners cost $8,000 each.

A thermal scanner checks the temperature of each student as they enter Lone Tree Elementary School. Board VP Dr. Clyde Lewis demonstrates use of the machine. The 100.4 degree temperature shown is the maximum allowed. This reporter was shown to be kind of cool at 98.3 (bottom left). Lewis was found to be just right but a bit hotter at 98.6.

Meals Provided for All Students

“The AM kids get lunch, dinner, snack and breakfast for the next day,” Gaudy continued. “The PM group eats a hot lunch on campus before the session begins at 11:45. Then when they leave, they’re also given dinner, snack and breakfast. That’s for all districts, right now through the pandemic.”

Principal Crystal Berry served as the guide into the classrooms and for the remainder of the tour.

“Right now, we have 33 students during the PM session and a total of 77 kids who showed up,” she shared. “We have a K-2 class and a 3-5 class.”

“They’re on virtually with their teacher or working on their Seesaw learning and activities platform (used by K-3rd),” Berry explained. “The classroom is supported by a certificated teacher, instructional aids and monitors. They assist students with accessing their live online meetings and completing their assignments. Fourth and fifth grade students use the Microsoft Teams platform.”

“Right now we have 80 spots with 40 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon,” she continued. “We can only have 20 students in the classroom with four-feet social distancing.”

Principal Berry in the PE room at Lone Tree Elementary.

“More than the three-foot minimum,” Lewis pointed out.

“The kids do virtual PE and music. They follow a teacher on screen and run in place, do calisthenics, and he talks to them about health habits,” Berry shared. “Then at recess each classroom has a bin of different equipment. The students can go out and play one-person tether ball and wall ball, chalk drawing in the four-square courts, hoola hoops and jump rope.”

“It’s so good to have the kids back,” she stated. “It’s such a great feeling to have them in school and socialize with their peers which is something that’s been missing. They need that social and emotional interaction. I was very pleased to see how well our kindergartners transitioned in. None of them were crying.”

Dr. Lewis, Principal Berry and Vice Principal Gaudy at the entrance of Lone Tree Elementary where students and parents are greeted, each day before entering.

“Our students said they’re happy to be back in person learning and the opportunity to see their peers,” Berry added.

“Our learning center provides opportunities for students that have difficulty with virtual learning to have support with their studies,” she continued. “That’s especially important for our ESL students and those with special needs. Our students are attending four days a week. But that’s a decision per school. Others are attending only two days a week.”

“We got a lot of calls from other parents who drove by and saw students on campus. So, I’m sure we’ll be expanding the learning center capacity,” said Berry. “Parents aren’t allowed on campus according to CDC guidelines. So, I held a virtual orientation on Friday so parents could learn about the process and schedule, and safety protocols.”

For more information about the Antioch Unified School District Learning Centers and 4th Quarter Learning click here.

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the attachments to this post:

Wellness center Lone Tree Elementary

Thermal scanner

Ms. Berry in PE room Lone Tree Elementary

Lewis Berry & Goudy Lone Tree Elementary

K-2nd Grade Learning Center Lone Tree Elementary

3rd-5th Grade Learning Center Lone Tree Elementary

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