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Parents Tour New Elementary School In West Jordan

WEST JORDAN, Utah – Parents got a chance to tour a brand-new elementary school in the Jordan School District and see what steps educators are taking to protect students during the pandemic.

First day jitters are normal for students going back to school. But this year, you can’t blame parents for maybe having a few jitters, too.

“We’ve got extra concerns about her where she’s had some health issues,” said Shane Squire.

Squire’s daughter is going to be in third grade at the new Antelope Elementary School in West Jordan.

On Friday, teachers and administrators at the school held tours for parents and students.

It was the first opportunity for parents to see the inside of the new school, but also to see firsthand what’s being done to try and keep students as safe as possible from coronavirus.

“Is everybody wearing a mask? Good,” said first-grade teacher Leslie Pearson, who led many of the tours.

Pearson’s daughter is also attending Antelope Canyon, so she is well aware of the safety precautions being taken.

“The main concern is just the safety of the students and the people working at the school,” she said. “Everything is spread out. Kids have their own supplies that they are not sharing. Lots of cleaning supplies and things like that.”

There are signs everywhere reminding students to wear their masks, wash their hands and stay on one side of the hall.

“We’re always on the right side of the hall,” said Pearson during one of the tours.

There’s also a plan to limit the number of classes walking through the halls at one time, as well as the number of students allowed in bathrooms at the same time.

Also, if a student shows any sign of being sick, there’s a quarantine classroom to bring them while their parents are contacted.

“The number one thing that’s most important to me right now — it’s not testing, it’s not finding out where they’re at — the number one thing right now is entering school safely,” said Tami Bird, Antelope Canyon Elementary principal. “Safety has always been important, but it really is now at the top.”

No plan will ever be perfect, and it could often change. But teachers said they are trying to make students and parents feel comfortable.

“We’re doing everything we can to help keep them as safe as they can be,” said Pearson.

After the 15-20-minute tour, parents KSL spoke with said they feel safe with their children going back to classes.

“I’ve been really impressed with the school, how they have the social distancing,” said Squire. “I like how they have the room for the quarantine for those that are feeling sick.”

“We’re very excited and I think they’re doing a great job. Absolutely,” said McKinzi Reed, whose daughter, Karlee Claspell, will be attending sixth grade.

Enrollment at Antelope Canyon is about 600 K-6 students. About 100 of those students will stay home for virtual learning.

Antelope Canyon Elementary School.

“I can see the wisdom in just seeing how it works and then pulling the students back in later,” said Bird. “The students who are at home, they are still my kids, and I will support them in any way that I can.”

Classes start this coming Tuesday and teachers said they are excited to get going again.

“This is what we do. This is who we are,” said Bird. “We’re going to be okay. I really believe that. We’re going to be okay.”

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