ORANGE PARK, Fla. – As Clay County students return to their classrooms for the first time Tuesday, they’ll notice some changes because of the ongoing pandemic.
At Orange Park High School and Green Cove Springs Junior High, students will move through the school differently to avoid the crowded hallways that have been seen at other schools.
The schools’ hallways have been converted to one-way walkways, and staff will make sure students are moving in the right direction.
OPHS Principal Clayton Anderson said that’s going to make a major difference
“If you look at it, we have 1,200 students. Just by doing one-way traffic in this area, you’re only going to have 600 that have to walk this way,” Anderson explained during a pre-semester tour with News4Jax.
Anderson said between the one-way hallways and major reduction in the amount of students physically coming to school, students should be able to socially distance.
“We’re utilizing our ‘Swords up’ logo and everywhere the swords are pointed up is the direction that you’ll be going,” Anderson said. “So each of these stickers are 6 feet apart, so that helps with the timing of the step and helping students move through.”
Designated up and down stairwells are meant to keep students from crossing in front of each other.
And in the cafeteria, the school has opened more lunch lines, added social distancing tape so students know where to stand and blocked off where they’re not allowed to sit with red X marks at the tables.
Anderson said he believes the students at his school will follow the rules.
“I think students want to know the why, and as long as we can effectively communicate the why behind the what, then students will (obey the rules),” Anderson said. “Also, you do what you have to do for what you want to do and students want to come back, so they’re going to follow that as long as they know the why.”
Lockers will also be off-limits this year to avoid any cross-contamination.