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The 2020-21 School Year is Underway!
Laine Williams

While this school year looks a bit different as a result of COVID-19, Altamont started the year with new faces and spaces. This year the school welcomed 74 new students in grades 5-12 from 30 different schools, bringing our total enrollment to 363. Altamont's largest grade is 10th with 59 students, including 5 new students. Our middle school also experienced significant growth with 24 new 5th graders, 18 new 6th graders, and 6 new 7th graders.

In addition to new students, Altamont has five new faculty and staff members: Joseph McKinley--computer science; Mary Waker--school nurse; and three permanent substitutes--Henry Scott; Kirby Richards and Chris Tindle.

This summer, construction was completed on three exciting areas. First, the Knights Den is our new collaboration area for the middle schoolers (5th/6th grades). This multipurpose space can be utilized in between classes, during lunch and during free time. Teachers can also use it as a classroom space. Featuring work spaces and comfortable chairs, this area gives our middle schoolers a place to call their own during the school day.

Second, the Senior Commons is the go-to area for our oldest students. Lockers were removed over the summer to create more opportunities for social distancing. The result was a new, open space with comfortable chairs, sofas, work tables and lots of natural light.

Third, Altamont is known for its impressive college counseling program. This year, we created a space that supports those ongoing efforts. Our new student-focused college counseling suite features movable tables and chairs for one-on-one help sessions and grade-level workshops. This space also has the technology capabilities to host virtual visits for college representatives. We are grateful to all of the donors who helped make these wonderful new additions to the school possible.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Altamont has undergone extensive health and safety facility changes that create a safe and healthy school environment for all of our students, faculty/staff and parents. All students and faculty/staff are required to complete a symptom check and temperature check prior to entering the school. All desks and tables in classrooms and common areas are spaced so that students will be no less than six feet apart. Mask are worn by all students and faculty/staff while on school property. One-way hallways and stairwells reduce student density in open areas. Plexiglass barriers are used to reduce exposure to aerosols in all community spaces. The HVAC systems in each classroom are equipped with bipolar ionization units that help cleanse the air. Disinfecting of classrooms and class equipment and materials occur after each class. These efforts are just some of the many changes we made to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. To learn more about Altamont's Back to School COVID-19 plan, go to altamontschool.org/academics/covid-19.

We are looking forward to an exciting new school year! Go Knights!

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