INSIDE LOOK: Auburn City Schools preparing to educate and protect during COVID-19

Alabama News

AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – Auburn teachers returned to their classrooms Tuesday to prepare for Monday’s historic start of the school year. Many families feel butterflies of excitement and nervousness as students begin their education during a global pandemic.

News 3 was fortunate enough to speak with Auburn’s Nurse Administrator, Brenda Lindahl, for an inside look at your child’s day. Lindahl’s confidence and care are reassuring. With Lindahl’s 49 years of nursing experience with 25 years of nursing in the school setting, she focused on students’ physical and mental well-being. The goal is to make sure students feel safe, protected, and ready to learn while masking, social distancing, and hand-washing.

When you first walk into Auburn’s East Samford School, signs remind you to mask upon entering, and a masked Tiger mascot offers a fun, warm welcome.

“We wanted to incorporate our mascot, Samford, the Tiger. He has to wear his mask as well, and we have a motto here, we move, and we mask,” shared Principal Dr. Duriel Barlow.

Students receive three reusable masks, and plenty of disposable masks are available.

“We do let the children go outside for recess and PE, and they will be socially distanced and have a little break to take that mask off and get some fresh air,” shared Lindahl.

Desks will be socially distanced, and lunch will be in classrooms and outside breaks for students and teachers.

“There are so many safety measures we have posters all over the schools; they will see it and read it and be exposed to it. We know we are going to have students who are a little afraid a little concerned, we have plenty of teachers, counselors, and nurses ready to comfort those kids and assure them we are all in this together,” shared Lindahl.

School sanitization is another top priority. Custodians, who already take pride in their schools and students, are now tasked with keeping it as germ-free as possible.

“We just had an intense training session for all our custodians last week. All of them have their carts and cleaning supplies and will focus on cleaning their areas of the school and washing down doorknobs and door handles on a schedule several times during the day,’ shared Lindahl.

Families, schools are asking for your full support. If your child is sick, stay home. If your child has been potentially exposed to COVID-19, stay home. If your child is coughing, stay home. If your child has a temperature of more than 100-degrees, stay home. Parents, you can also start now getting your students conformable with masks and temperature checks.

“Please just make sure kids understand what we are doing and why we are doing and implementing the things we are doing at school,” shared Dr. Duriel Barlow.

Above all, parents reassure your children their teachers are excited to meet and educate them in person or online. If you are doing face to face learning, it may be a good idea to explain to your child while they may not see their teacher smiling through their mask; they are excited to see them. If you are doing virtual education, go ahead and set up a schedule at home for your child and treat it like a typical school day.

“For remote families, get your child up, get them dressed, get them a good breakfast and get a schedule going for remote learning and carve out some fun time and playtime too,” shared Lindahl.


Please click on Auburn City Schools’ “Return to Learning” handbook, a detailed outline for families regarding Fall 2020 guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On page 17, the handbook addresses a COVID-19 diagnosis during Traditional Learning

Auburn City Schools will follow the guidance of local, state, and national
health professionals and adopt a symptom-based strategy that recommends
a 10-14 day quarantine period for persons both exposed to COVID-19
through close contact or for persons with a positive test. The
recommendations are subject to change as new information is gathered.

COVID-19 Positive Diagnosis
A student or staff member with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis will be subject
to a 10-14 day quarantine and will follow the guidance of their healthcare
provider and the Alabama Department of Public Health.

COVID-19 Positive Exposure
If a student or faculty member is diagnosed positive for COVID-19, the
parents or guardians of any student with risk of infection due to close contact
will be notified. Parents and guardians will be advised to contact the
student’s healthcare provider to be assessed and given further directives.
A student or staff member with positive exposure will need to complete a 10-
14 day quarantine measured from the date of last exposure.

Return to School
For both a positive diagnosis and a positive exposure, the parent/guardian
must provide to ACS in writing one of the following statements about the
student from their healthcare provider:
The student has a negative COVID-19 test and is symptom-free at the
completion of the 10-14-day quarantine, OR
The student has been symptom-free during the 10-14-day quarantine.

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