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Schools prepare for an unusual school year

Lawrence Township won't start school until Aug. 13. But they're already using new safety practices, thanks to summer school classes.

INDIANAPOLIS — Starting Wednesday we will see the first schools in Indiana welcome back students. And a lot will be different as schools deal with the coronavirus threat.

Lawrence Township won't start school until Aug. 13, but they're already using new safety practices thanks to summer school classes.

All classes have been organized by a seating grid to make sure desks are socially distanced. Students are required to wear face masks throughout the day.

"The safety of our staff and our students is our top priority. If they are not safe, kids are not going to be learning," said Jerome Lahlou, a principal in MSD of Lawrence Township.

Lahlou has been on a district task force to develop a reopening plan. Once school starts, he said other measures will be in place. 

RELATED: Beech Grove educators are learning how to teach kids and keep everyone safe

Students will be separated to maintain 6 feet of distance during lunch. They also must continue to wear a mask during recess periods.

In the hallways, foot traffic will be separated and limited to one direction to keep kids from getting too close.

Credit: Allen Carter
Signs asking to maintain social distancing can be seen throughout the hallways at Lawrence Township schools.

Ida Ferran teaches fifth grade and said the biggest change will be having to stay back while teaching.

"We're used to working very closely with our kids, working in groups with our kids and having that small group and one-to-one and keeping that social distance is going to be a little bit challenging," Ferran said. 

Administrators expect to be able to maintain smaller class sizes once school starts because a number of families have opted to use e-learning.

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