Many schools across North Texas shut their doors on election day to keep students away from the crowds of people coming into the building during the pandemic. Some decided to stay open even though voters came inside.
Safety procedures were really helped out Election Day by very short lines. There was no waiting much of the afternoon at many polling places.
When you have so many people coming in the door without knowing their medical condition, school leaders had to prepare.
Carter In The Classroom
Focusing on unique things school districts are doing to help children succeed.
The gymnasium was locked at Bilhartz Elementary all day. People wanting to vote here had to come in and out of the backdoor of the gym never crossing the boundary into the halls and classrooms where students were learning.
"We have locations of the least amount of intrusiveness where the voting locations doesn't impact instruction. students are able to go about their day, said Andrea Fields, Chief Operations Officer, Duncanville Independent School District.
In Duncanville, every teacher and staff member were given small handheld electrostatic misters and they were running at full force throughout the day.
PE classes were held outdoors at most schools and other events in cafeterias and auditoriums rescheduled. There were similar protective measures in Arlington, Birdville and Fort Worth schools where lines were a bit longer earlier in the day.
"We're providing extra staff that will help in all those locations. our visiting protocols to the student areas is very strict. we're not allowing people into those areas to help us who are not FWISD employees," said spokesman Clint Bond, regarding the 34 locations in Fort Worth ISD.
Poll workers themselves were also enforcing social distancing and cleaning, telling us they were more aware since they were at a school building.
When voting is done Tuesday night, the cleaning process starts all over again before kids come back inside the classroom Wednesday.
"They'll be doing deep cleaning, sanitizing, wiping down everything any chairs people sat in parents don't have worry," said Fields.
If you ever wondered why we vote in schools, it's often because schools pay the election commission to handle the voting for school board races and bond elections. By providing the schools as a polling location, they get a huge discount.