Students eat lunch outside in tents to stem Covid

3 weeks ago 22

By: KDKA-TV’s Erika Stanish

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — School lunches look a small antithetic this twelvemonth astatine a charter schoolhouse successful Pittsburgh.

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Students astatine Environmental Charter School connected South Braddock Avenue are eating their lunches extracurricular successful tents arsenic a mode to mitigate the dispersed of COVID-19, according to the superior school.

James Doyle, the main operating serviceman astatine ECS, said students person been eating extracurricular since the 3rd week of school.

“As portion of our aboriginal connected COVID mitigation and erstwhile we opened our schoolhouse afloat to students, due to the fact that past year, we really had astir fractional capableness and buildings, we identified circumstantial strategies that would let america to safely and securely person students participating successful learning activities but past besides lunch,” Doyle said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Recently, Doyle said the schoolhouse purchased a 26-by-40 ft structure that volition assistance withstand harsher temperatures arsenic wintertime nears.

“The extremity with the larger structure that has the sides, the airflow is inactive 100 percent. You’re getting aerial each passim it, but we tin person each of our students astatine the aforesaid clip outside, which conscionable makes it a overmuch much conducive space,” Doyle said.

Doyle said outdoor acquisition is portion of the halfway of its world program and said eating luncheon extracurricular adds to the school’s mission.

“In this gathering that we’re successful close now, we’re close adjacent to Frick Park. We get our students extracurricular each and each day. So this is simply a perfect, cleanable mode to complement what we already bash time successful and time out,” Doyle said.

But immoderate parents person concerns arsenic the somesthesia continues to driblet and question however eating successful a structure is immoderate safer than wrong the cafeteria.

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“If the full thought is to beryllium similar COVID cautious, erstwhile you enactment a structure up and enactment heaters on, past shouldn’t the kids conscionable beryllium wrong astatine that constituent successful time? Because I mean, heating up an enclosed abstraction similar that for children to eat, I deliberation benignant of creates similar a Petri crockery of germs instead,” a genitor who did not privation to beryllium identified said.

The territory said it has 2 1,500-watt electrical basal heaters that volition spell successful the tents erstwhile it gets colder outside.

“By quadrate footage, this is capable and inactive tin beryllium operated safely with students successful the tent,” said Deana Callipare, a spokesperson for ECS.

In an email sent to parents this week, the schoolhouse reported the heaters are not installed yet and asked that students remembered to bring a overgarment to school.

Doyle said astir 100 students devour successful the structure during each luncheon period.

“I’m sending my kids to school. I’m not sending them retired skiing. Why bash I request to enactment an other furniture of covering connected my kid for them to beryllium capable to devour luncheon outside?” a genitor said.

In a connection sent to KDKA, Callipare said, “ECS plans to proceed this mitigation effort arsenic agelong arsenic possible, upwind permitting.”

KDKA asked the schoolhouse if it had a somesthesia bounds to erstwhile it would person students devour inside. Doyle said helium plans to show the temperatures and play it by ear.

“If it feels excessively acold oregon if it gets a small excessively chilly, we won’t person our students outside. But it’s yet going to beryllium benignant of moving connected it arsenic we go,” Doyle said. “I deliberation it’ll beryllium benignant of conscionable feeling it and seeing what the heaters are capable to do. And if not, bring it backmost inside.”

“I was truly excited to perceive that they made this program successful bid to support our kids arsenic harmless arsenic imaginable during this clip and beryllium capable to springiness them bully airflow and person the outside,” genitor Maya Haptas said.

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“We volition marque definite that the abstraction is safe, the abstraction is warm, and the abstraction is inviting for our kids to beryllium capable to devour luncheon safely,” Doyle said.

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