By Mike LaCrosse

BOSTON (CBS) – Hand sanitizer stations greet you the second you walk into the Mildred Ave K-8 School in Mattapan. Inside the Boston Public School building a number of upgrades and improvements are now in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The changes include some acrylic and vinyl barriers, social distancing signage and spread out desks. Enhanced cleaning procedures will also be in place this fall.

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“We believe the work we’ve done this summer, it is safe to open and begin welcoming our prioritized students this October 1,” said Superintendent Brenda Cassellius.

Superintendent Cassellius led the media on tours Wednesday of two of the district’s 123 buildings, Mildred Ave and the much older Mather Elementary School in Dorchester.

Desks spread out inside classroom at Mildred Ave School in Mattapan (WBZ-TV)

“About 65% of our school buildings were built before World War II so you can understand how very challenging this has been,” said Cassellius.

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“It’s very disturbing and disappointing that the press got walkthroughs before we did,” said Jessica Tang, president of the Boston Teacher’s Union. She said there are concerns among members about returning to school buildings.

“Even if a building looks great you can do that very easily by covering mold, covering tiles and such, it doesn’t actually fix the air quality issue,” said Tang.

Cassellius said millions of dollars worth of repairs to windows have been made to help with ventilation.

Boston is using a phased in-hybrid model this fall. School starts remotely September 21 and some students won’t start returning to building until after October 1.

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