In some ways, the scene inside Geraldine Bauer’s classroom at Ephrata High School isn’t any different from a typical school year.
The math charts and Bauer’s “Springsteen on Broadway” poster still decorate the walls. Bauer leads the class in algebra lessons. Afterward, students wield their pencils — or open their laptops — to work through problems at their desks.
That’s where the similarities end. Bauer and her students are wearing masks or face shields and are advised to stay 6 feet apart. Every now and then, Bauer will look at an iPad set up in the classroom to check in with students learning online from home.
Elsewhere in the school, markers on hallway floors remind students how far from one another they should walk. Plexiglas dividers are affixed to the tables in the cafeteria to protect students from each other while they eat.
Those are just some of the ways Ephrata Area School District has worked to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in its schools. So far, it appears to be working, as the district has publicly reported only one confirmed COVID-19 case among students, faculty or staff.