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North County School Goes Outdoors in Hopes of Resuming In-Person Instruction

The school plans to have students learn in groups of tens in desks outside. Hand washing and sanitizing stations will be placed, as will portable restrooms

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Dozens of San Diego County schools have applied for waivers to reopen for in-person learning and among them is one that has adopted measures to host classes in an unconventional way.

Sanderling Waldorf School is based in Vista and also has property in Encinitas, where children will be receiving instruction outdoors.

“The desks are 6 feet apart. The students will be out in nature fusing the academics through our garden program and farming program,” said Lisa Fyfe, a Sanderling Waldorf School board member.

“We’re going to keep students in cohorts of 10. We have more bathrooms and porta-potties set up for the children. Hand washing stations, hand sanitation,” said Fyfe.

Students will have to undergo health screenings before class. There are also strict sanitation guidelines and everyone will have masks.

“One of the detriments of distance learning is there’s not that chemistry, that classroom chemistry, the one-on-one connection. So we’re lucky we’re going to be able to offer that to the kids,” said Amy Hike, a teacher at Sanderling Waldorf.

While many local parents and educators still worry about safety, Sanderling Waldorf is hoping their outdoor model will help put families at ease.

The school is still offering distance learning for families who can’t send their students to in-person class.

More than 100 San Diego schools have applied for waivers to resume in-person learning. The county has approved 27 and will likely approve more within days.

For more information on school waivers and the schools that have applied, click here.

NBC 7's Nicole Gomez shares the latest details on the San Diego County schools that have, so far, been approved to reopen their physical campuses under a waiver.
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