By CBSLA Staff

ORANGE (CBSLA) — The principal of St. John’s Lutheran School of Orange is hoping that children will fill the school’s empty desks when classes begin in less than a month.

Principal Jake Hollatz has submitted a waiver to the ban on in-person instruction, which if approved could mean on-campus learning.

“So our families really want face-to-face,” Hollatz said. “We polled our families last week before the governor’s orders, and about 73% of them said that they wanted face-to-face instruction and that really bolstered us to submit this waiver.”

The paperwork has already been submitted to the Orange County Health Care Agency which can grant the waiver that applies to K through eigth-grade schools.

However, it’s not yet clear what conditions each campus must meet to satisfy the county health officer.

Students third grade and up will be required to wear face coverings throughout the day and each classroom has its own ventilation system.

A disinfectant fogger has also been purchased to clean the campus thoroughly at the end of each school day.

Hollatz also said that a year’s supply of hand sanitizer and wipes has already been purchased.

“My girls really struggled with online schooling in the spring,” said one mom. “Not just academically … but even emotionally. They really need to be amongst their peers.”

Alice, a student at St. John’s, wants to be back in the classroom. She’s not crazy about wearing a mask all day but said if that’s the trade-off, “I would definitely have to do that. I would do it.”

Staff will be required to wear masks or face shields and some classes will be held outdoors under tents.

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