LAKELAND, Fla. – When students and teachers in Polk, Pinellas and Pasco Counties go back to school on Monday, it is will be a very different place than the one they left a few months ago.
“I have been in education for 22 years and this is the most stress I have ever been in,” Shannon Brown, the principal of Davenport Elementary School, told FOX 13.
Stress from starting a new year, stress from opening a new school, and perhaps the most stress of all because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other school districts across the Tampa Bay area are facing similar concerns about the possible spread of the novel coronavirus.
“It is super stressful because it’s not only keeping the little ones safe. It’s keeping the teacher and the staff safe. It is keeping me safe. We all have to go home to our own families,” said Brown.
Davenport Elementary, like most schools, has been in a whirlwind for weeks trying to take as many precautions as possible against COVID-19.
They have been stockpiling hand sanitizer and PPE. Their teachers have been drilled on the importance of making sure kids follow the new rules.
Educators say social distancing may be the hardest to enforce, especially among the youngest children.
Most schools also have an emergency plan in place, including quarantine areas, just in case someone shows signs of COVID-19.