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St. Andrew's Country Day School prepares for gym class

Posted at 5:53 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 17:53:28-04

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — “I just really think we’re fortunate," principal of St. Andrew's Country Day School Pamela Giannantonio said. "Like you said, we’re privileged, in a sense, to be able to have the kiddos come back.”

St. Andrew’s Country Day School on Sheridan Drive is opening five days a week, giving each student the opportunity to have in-person classes and extracurriculars like physical education.

“It was questionable at first because of that contact and because COVID is spread through breathing,"Giannantonio said. "But we have mapped out our gym where we are able to give most of our students a 12-foot spot where they’ll be able to take their mask off and still enjoy some physical activity.”

Giannantonio says the school’s physical education teacher has spent all summer coming up with new and creative ways to play traditional gym class games.

“So perhaps if they’re playing a tag game, and the mask is on, they’re doing it with a pool noodle instead of actually touching because it keeps the children extended," she said.

And since the class sizes are small, Giannantonio says there’s enough equipment for each student to have their own.

“Whether it’s a hula hoop or a basketball or a jump rope, they all have something to use during that time,” Giannantonio said.

On days when students have gym class, they must come into school in their gym uniform.

“It just takes one less thing off the plate of the teacher having to be able to monitor inside both locker rooms,” she said.

And while the weather’s nice, they hope to have gym outside.

“At that point, when they’re outside, they’ll be socially distant so they can take their mask off,”

And while contact sports like basketball are still off the table for now, Giannantonio says she’s just happy to bring some normalcy to her students.

“We were just fortunate enough to be able to be on the smaller side and to be able to still have all those circular extensions so the kiddos aren’t gonna miss out on anything," Giannantonio said.