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Hancock school district sets up tent classrooms

Several outdoor tents have been set up as classrooms around the school
Hancock schools will be taking a number of classes outside this coming semester.
Hancock schools will be taking a number of classes outside this coming semester.(Connor Veenstra)
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - The tents were set up only a week ago and await the arrival of the students when classes start September 8th. The idea for the tents was brought up during one of the summer admin meetings, to answer the question of how they were going to get the students outside.

“I suggested to my middle school staff,” explained Steve Aho, Hancock Middle School principal, “‘Think the Finnish model of education and get kids outside every hour.’”

While the weather is relatively tame now, allowing for the tents without much trouble, the difficulty comes when getting into the winter months.

“Realistically, the tents will need to basically be taken down once ice becomes probable,” said Chris Salani, Hancock High School principal. “With the condensation overnight, with the colder temps, frost, etc, the ice load is really where the cutoff will be determined for us when we have to take those down.”

Both the middle and high schools will be using them for various subjects. The tents aren’t a perfect solution, as they will provide a new environment of distractions for younger students, but the faculty believes this is the best way to help their students on an emotional, psychological and physical level.

“It’s what we can do,” said Aho, “it’s the best we can do and if that’s what we can offer for them to get outside and be apart from each other, it’s worth it.”

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