A long-needed construction project is well underway at McCool Junction Public Schools: the addition of office space.
The current office is nestled in a small space downstairs a significant distance from the entry doors. The school has balked at improving something that doesn’t directly benefit students, but McCool Junction Public Schools Principal Dade McDonald said the time had come. “It seems like a good time to get it done,” he said. “We have a lot of people who, when they come, don’t know where to sign in.” Having a checkpoint greeting people at the doors will prove essential as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on – not to mention add a nice aesthetic touch to the building’s exterior, as the addition will be brick and siding chosen to compliment the current main school building. “It will give us a nice entrance,” McDonald said.
Other COVID-19 considerations are also being mulled over. McDonald said that while obvious procedures like screening and wearing (or not wearing) a mask are often tackled first, but there are plenty of other things to think about. “We’re trying to make the best experience possible for our kids and figuring out all of those little details,” McDonald said.
In the elementary school, staff has managed to find enough desks to substitute in for tables. “We’ve come up with some desks to help them stay six feet apart,” McDonald said. However, larger required high school classes bring a greater challenge. “We’re trying to figure out when you have a class of 20 kids, how do you keep enough space between them as possible?”
McCool Junction Public Schools is currently scheduled to start classes for in-person instruction at its scheduled date.
Like many schools, McCool’s plans for conducting the 2020-2021 school year are fluid. “Things either get better or worse,” McDonald said. “That’s the hard thing about this – it’s so unknown.”