Fishburne Military School stays COVID free three weeks into reopening

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 5:23 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) — Cadets began returning to Fishburne Military School on Aug. 9, and they are now in their third week of classes.

“One of the things I’m really proud of is we have concentrated with them this year, hey you’re not going to be the victims here. You all are going to be a part of the solution, and they’ve truly embraced that,” Superintendent Capt. Mark Black said.

Fishburne Military School’s target enrollment was 20 percent less than previous years to help maintain social distance.

“The key is hygiene, social distancing and the masks,” Capt. Black said.

Everyone on campus is required to wear a face-covering and wash their hands often.

“We’ve got hand sanitizer all over the place, and what we’d like them to do is every time they go into a new room that they wash their hands. Every time they exit that room, they wash their hands again,” Capt. Black said.

Anyone who does not live on campus, including day students and staff, have to get their temperature checked and answer COVID-related health questions in order to get a wrist band show they are allowed to be on campus.

Cadets who do live on campus get their temperatures and symptoms checked daily as well.

“Now that we are past 14 days here, we’ve had no cases of symptoms, we’ve had no instances of elevated temperatures,” Capt. Black said.

They’re working to keep it that way since most cadets live on campus.

“We have a pretty good insight of where they’ve been. We’re not allowing them off post, particularly for the first six weeks, and then we’re going to evaluate the situation from there,” Capt. Black said.

Capt. Black credits the staff at FMS for working hard since school closed to get cadets back on campus in a safe way.

“Our educational system here is predicated on in-person instruction because you can’t do character development virtually,” Capt. Black said.

And he said the cadets have been dedicated to having a successful year by complying with the new guidelines and brainstorming new ways to stay COVID-free.

Capt. Black said they plan to finish the first semester on Nov. 20, and cadets will not return to campus for the second semester until January.

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