NEW ORLEANS – A private school in Mandeville reopened campus today making their students the first to return in St.Tammany Parish since the coronavirus pandemic.
“We right now in phase two were able to come all back on campus,” Sybil Skansi told WGNO this morning. “So I guess, our biggest concern is what we’re trying to do- will it work as it plays out day-to-day?”
Mary Queen of Peace Catholic School is officially back in session. In person classes resumed on Wednesday morning. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students haven’t been on campus since March 13th. Skansi says school guidelines have been a little different since returning.
“We, of course, have face coverings and we’re requiring that for our third through seventh graders,” Skansi explained. “We also have some handwashing times throughout the day. We also are in our pods! We are in static groups so we will not be moving from class-to-class.”
Mary Queen of Peace Catholic School has over 400 students and Skansi tells us, only 14 chose to start the school year online. Many parents say they’re comfortable with their child returning back to campus.
“You know, I really applaud the school for taking the precautions that they are by following the mandate- seeking outside counsel,” Lory Schwartz, the parent of a sixth-grader shared. “For my daughter, being able to be with her friends, socialize, and then get back to a routine! Something that’s normal for her.”
While Skansi acknowledges these are uncertain times, she hopes the reopening of her school will be a positive message to others.
“Together, we can get through this! We can get through this pandemic, we can get through what we’re trying to do at school, we can educate the kids and more importantly, we can love them and give them a sense of normalcy,” said Skansi.
Skansi also says school buses will not return to Mary Queen of Peace Catholic School until at least after Labor Day.