FREELAND, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Some private schools, like MMI Preparatory School, have seen a slight increase in enrollment this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eyewitness News went inside to see how they are getting ready to start the school year.

Inside MMI Preparatory School, things will look a little different this year as students from grades six through twelve prepare to return to the classroom.

Here at MMI, it’s up to the family and students to do what makes them feel safe.

“Because we are small, we are also able to be nimble and open for full person instruction while following all the guidance,” said Justin kleinheider, Head of School, MMI Preparatory School.

Head of School, Justin Kleinheider told Eyewitness News the response to coming back to the classroom has been more positive than negative.

“Our families really want to be in person. The vast majority wanted to be in person, so it was really important to make sure that option was there as well as the families that wanted to stay at home because they are more comfortable,” said Kleinheider.

Before anyone enters the building, temperature checks will be done.

In the classroom, desks will follow CDC guidelines and students and staff will be required to wear masks. Each room will have a hand sanitizing station that will be highly encouraged for students to use. And each teacher will have a web camera, so students at home can either watch the lesson live or prerecorded.

“One way traffic, in the hallways that helps a lot, we’ve increased the time so it’s staggered, locker times as well,” said Kleinheider.

MMI will also utilize their outdoor classroom by the ball field along with the cafeteria as a “larger classroom”, since students will have to eat in the main classrooms to maintain social distance.
The school also purchased a “Clorox 360” machine to help disinfect daily.
And in the older classrooms with heating only, air scrubbers were installed, while air-conditioned rooms have new filtration standards.

“We want to make sure that everybody knows that our community is first and foremost…What’s important. We’re really committed to making the most personal connections that we can,” said Kleinheider.

Classes for MMI Preparatory School were originally intended to start August 25th, but have now been pushed back until September 8th.