By Brooke Rogers

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth ISD students will return to the classroom Wednesday, Jan. 5 from winter break.

And when the 76,000 of them arrive, those classrooms will have undergone a thorough cleaning.

District officials said that’s been the routine at every one of their schools since the pandemic began.

“Cleaning, disinfecting of all surfaces. We also have a spray cleaner that’s hospital-grade,” said Fort Worth ISD Chief of Operations Joseph Coburn.

In preparation for back-to-school, staff hung signs encouraging good hygiene.

They scrubbed every high touch and high traffic area and unpacked boxes of hand sanitizer and masks.

“You know how kiddos, they will remove their masks,” said Claudia Garibay, External and Emergency Communications Executive Director. “They will lose them, or they will tear them, so we want to make sure that there are plenty of PPE, masks, hand sanitizer for all students in every classroom in the Fort Worth ISD.”

Masks are not required in Fort Worth ISD but are strongly recommended.

The district is also partnering with the city and county to encourage testing.

With cases having surged over the holidays, district officials said they know flexibility will continue to be required.

“One of the things that we’ve stressed is that our response to COVID-19 and safety, as you see these numbers doing what they’re doing, is our top priority,” said Coburn.

And he said deep cleaning coupled with preparation creates the best possible circumstances for the students.

“Having students do in-person learning is the best way to help them succeed in the classroom, and we want to do everything we can do make that happen.”