Schools approve re-entry plans
Joey Bowling, Intern, [email protected]
Harrison County’s three public school corporations — Lanesville, North Harrison and South Harrison — have released a countywide re-entry plan for the 2020-21 academic year. This plan was made with input from the Harrison County Health Dept.
The South Harrison school district has approved the plan with minor changes.
Here is a look at what all three school corporations have planned:
Buses will run on a normal schedule. The school corporations are requesting face masks be worn. Seating charts will be assigned to better help with contact tracing, and siblings will sit with each other.
Electrostatic spraying with a hospital-grade cleaner will be conducted multiple times a week to disinfect the buses. Special education buses will be cleaned daily.
Masks are not required but highly encouraged. Students are expected to bring masks or a face shield to school. Masks are required in health clinics and in fragile health classrooms.
Sanitizing and water fill stations are being added. Sneeze guards will be installed where necessary. Office access may be limited.
Grab and Go breakfasts will be served either as students enter the building or in the cafeteria. This depends on each school.
Additional lunch sessions may be added to better practice social distancing. Some classrooms may serve lunch in their classroom periodically. Students will be able to interact with each other during lunch regardless of where they eat lunch.
The library can still be used, but students will sit in groups and table tops will be sanitized between classes. Students also can’t reshelf books they decide they don’t want.
Field trips won’t be taken the first semester.
Students and staff will perform self-screenings and report symptoms. Buildings will have separate areas for well and sick patients.
When a positive case is confirmed, the health department will be notified, and the health services coordinator will determine the extent of the exposure. Parents will also be notified.
Closing down classrooms, buildings or corporation is a health department decision.
If students exhibit any symptom of COVID-19, such as fever, stomach pain and a new loss of taste or smell, but are not tested, they will be quarantined for 10 school days and can return when the fever is gone for 72 hours and other symptoms have improved.
For students who are tested and receive a positive result, they will be quarantined for 10 school days. They must meet the above requirements and also receive two negative test results with 24 hours between each test.
Students who test positive but are asymptomatic may return within 10 school days and after being released by a health care provider.
Students who test negative are required to provide proof of the test result or a physician’s statement and be fever-free for 72 hours with other symptoms improving.
Students and staff will receive training on proper hygiene and recognizing symptoms of COVID-19. Staff will also receive training on reporting cases and the proper use of personal protective equipment.
Students will receive training on the first day of school for transition to virtual schooling if the need arises. They will also receive face mask training and respiratory etiquette.
Special education classrooms will be cleaned more regularly. Furniture and play items, such as stuffed animals and bean bag chairs, will be removed because they’re harder to clean. School staff will clean shared equipment after each use.
While teaching students to meet daily living activities, staff and therapists will wear gloves, face masks and face shields when necessary. Protective partitions will also be used during one-on-one interactions.
The South Harrison Community School Corp. school board changed the requirements for students to participate in extracurricular activities. The school district is now following the home-school policy, which requires students to attend class for one block per day.
There was also talk at the SHCSC July 7 board meeting of issuing an emergency protocol to temporarily change the policy while the pandemic lasts. The protocol would make it so homeschooled students and, by extension, virtual school attendees, can’t participate in extracurricular activities.
This protocol has not been issued and was only talked about, but it is expected to be talked about further at a strategic planning meeting set for 8:45 a.m. on Friday, July 24.