LUBBOCK, Texas — Students at New Home ISD have been in class for five weeks. Superintendent Shane Fiedler said they have not reported a single case of coronavirus within the school’s students or staff.
“Fortunately we actually kind of had prepared for this not knowing it was going to be COVID, but two years ago we had a bad case of the flu come through our school and so we bought equipment to be able to treat the school for flu at that time but it turns out that was a good decision that we have our own equipment cause now we can use it to treat the COVID as well,” Fiedler said.
New Home is located in Lynn County. Since March, there have been 89 cases. Fiedler said 97 percent of their students are in class, with the remaining three percent at home.
“We have four or five of those kids that are doing remote instruction that are planning to come back,” Fiedler said.
New Home ISD requires students and staff to wear masks. Temperature checks are required at the door, and they’ve set up the tables in classrooms and cafeteria to be spaced apart. He said the school has also implemented an additional lunch period to accommodate students. He also said educating students about the virus has played a significant role.
“The community’s bought into our message of, if this what it takes for us to have school, then they’re willing to put aside their own personal views and stand aside and do what’s best for our students in school,” Fiedler said.
Secondary special education teacher, Codi Chapman said she is glad to be back in the classroom with her kids.
“To see my coworkers, to see administration and just have some sort of normalcy in the craziness of this time, I think it’s very important,” Chapman said.
She said she feels confident in the folks she works with, with much of New Home’s strength coming from their community.
“Again, with people coming to us and saying hey have you thought about this? And just a willingness to share ideas,” Fiedler said.
Fiedler said one of the only real challenges they’ve faced is the growing number of students attending each year. He said they have enrolled about 45 new students into the district this year alone, so they’re having to maximize their space to make sure students are social distancing.
Fiedler adds he is glad to have his students return to school.
“Too see them in the hallways, to see them smile and laugh it just kind of warms your heart,” Fiedler said.