Planing for 2020-21 school year

Angie Talken
Chillicothe News

Chillicothe R-II Board of Education and Superintendent Dan Wiebers met Monday to discuss the 2020-21 school year and plans surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The plan was to be presented to staff on Tuesday and then parents later in the week, including a survey for the upcoming school year.

There are four different plans or models that may be implemented at any point of the year, no matter which plan the school year is started under, Wiebers said classes will begin on Aug. 25, no matter what.

“Our first day of instruction will be Aug. 25, no matter if it is in person, or virtually, classes will begin that day,” he said.

The four stages include being and reminding in the classrooms five days a week. This model Wiebers said is ideal, but safety and health for students and staff is the first priority. The other stages of educating students include closing the schools on Wednesday for deep cleaning. On Wednesday the schools would be deep cleaned. Another option is to split the classes in half, with some students going to class on Monday-Tuesday, building closed Wednesday for cleaning and then other student attending in-person classes Thursday-Friday. Virtual instruction will be ongoing for students on any day they are not in the building for classes. The fourth stage would be all virtual education, with buildings closed.

“It is important to note that not every building may be at the same stage of education,” Wiebers said. “If we have one school with a case or cases of COVID then they may be on virtual education, but is another building does not, then they may still be attending classes five days a week.”

Discussion at the meeting included plans for lunches. Wiebers said elementary students most likely will be eating lunch in their classrooms, to allow for social distancing, and school officials are looking into dividers to accommodate lunches at the middle and high school.

There will be a limited number of guests allowed in the school buildings, and none at lunch, Wiebers noted. A checklist of symptoms is being developed for staff, substitutes and students. Anyone experiencing symptoms are asked to stay home and follow additional steps for testing.

Parent-teacher conferences will most likely be done virtually.

Wiebers also noted that a grant from FEMA will allow the school district to purchase additional face masks, thermometers, cleaning supplies and protective gear.

Parents should have receives the plan and a survey by June 24, Wiebers said to allow for planning, the district would like to have the survey and parental input back by June 31.