Desk shields to be used in Clearwater Central Catholic’s re-opening plan


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The coronavirus pandemic has changed the list of school supplies for students.

In addition to face masks, students heading back to class at Clearwater Central Catholic High School will have their own desk shields.

The three-sided shields will be assigned to each student on their first day, Aug. 24. 

“The desk shield will be able to be portable, it can be moved around,” said James Deputy principal of Clearwater Central Catholic High School. “With our new schedule right now, there’s only we’ve limited the transition time. In fact, we cut out almost 60% of the transition time in the day with the new schedule. So, kids are only going to move twice a day.”

The protective barriers will also be placed around teachers’ desk.

Gabrielle Noyes has spent 34 years as a math teacher and along with her desk shield, she will use a translucent face shield.

“I think it’s really important for students to be able to see the teachers face because there’s a lot of things that you can project, your joy for teaching, your joy for the subject,” said Noyes. “Then I have a shield in front of me. So, I’m not stuck at my desk. I can move around a little bit.”

Clearwater Central Catholic High School will use several other safety measures including

  • Regular cleaning and sanitizing 
  • Onsite temperature checks   
  • Onsite COVID testing for faculty and staff 

The school will also follow social distancing protocols and allow students to choose how they take their lunch period. Students can opt to eat individually or in a small designated group.

“They will see lots of supervision in the hallways like they’ve never seen it before. Why to keep them safe. They will see four classes a day, rather than seven different kinds of schedule and in that schedule allow for less transition, therefore, better-suited division and therefore more safety for the students,” said Dr. John Venturella, president of Clearwater Central Catholic High School.

According to Principal Deputy, a majority of the school’s parents have expressed their comfortable sending their child back into the classroom this fall.

“We asked our parents to participate in a letter of intent of what their desire was moving forward at the school. And I can tell you, with almost about 100% polling results in right now, we have about 87% of our parents that have chosen in school learning,” said Deputy.

Deputy tells, the other remaining parents are undecided or are choosing a ‘blended’ distance learning for their children.

“We’re calling it blended learning. So, there are two types, at home or on campus, blended learning. In the one case, it happens synchronistically, that they are here at the school,” said Venturella. “Likewise, students at home, will using computers, so that’s why we chose blended learning of both types.”

The school is also opening additional wings this fall, meaning more space for students to spread out. 

“We have almost 20 new beautiful classrooms with this new wing opening. So, we have a luxury of space,” said Deputy.  

To view Clearwater Central Catholic High School’s full reopening plan, click here.  


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