By Kristen Dragotto
Missourian Staff Writer
The School District of Washington presented the final review of its reopening plan at its board meeting Wednesday, July 29.
Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said parents were asked to read the entire plan because it contains more details than the overview the district released last week, which outlined four possible scenarios, coded as green, yellow and red.
Classes begin Aug. 24 and the plan’s options include in-person learning and e-Learning. Students choosing e-Learning must commit for a semester.
VanLeer said the Comprehensive Return to School Plan “reflects our desire to safely educate students during these unprecedented times while also considering the health of our faculty and staff.
“Building principals will be aligning building level protocols to the plan, in preparation of further communication to parents,” VanLeer said.
She said the three keys to ensure in-person learning full time or part time are social distancing to the extent possible by reducing class size and creatively using space, face coverings to reduce risk of infection and classroom/building cleaning protocols, along with frequent personal hand-washing/sanitizing.
The plan calls for staffto wear cloth face coverings that should be washed daily. Exemptions include a medical reason or disability; when participating in a physical activity or activity that would make it difficult or impractical to wear a face covering; or providing direct instruction in front of the room when able to properly social distance from 6 feet or beyond.
Students in fourth through 12th grade will be required to wear a cloth face covering, according to the plan. Students in grades kindergarten through third grade are encouraged to wear face coverings but are not required.
Students are exempt from wearing a face covering if they have a medical reason or disability or when participating in a physical activity or activity that would make it difficult or impractical to wear a face covering.
According to the plan, face coverings will be provided to students and staff if one is not available from home.
“It is very likely, whether at the beginning of the year or at some point thereafter, that a hybrid or remote schedule will need to be implemented,” VanLeer said. “We ask parents to initially plan for the hybrid model.”
She said the school district also has extended the e-Learning from home registration period through Aug. 6, “so parents can read and consider the plans in more detail.”
VanLeer said the district will analyze class sizes after the Aug. 6 deadline to determine the overall impact on the district’s class sizes.
“A decision regarding how we will begin the year will be made by Aug. 10,” she said.
For more information, or to read the Comprehensive Return to School Plan for 2020-21 school year, visit washington.k12.mo.us/.