MANDATA — All students, with the exception of kindergarten, will attend classes full-time at Line Mountain School District when the new academic school year starts on Monday.
At Tuesday night's public meeting via Zoom, Superintendent Dave Campbell announced that the 2020-21 school year would have all students return to classes now that the state Department of Education requires stricter masking to combat the spread of COVID-19. The decision pivots away from the previous plan to allow for a hybrid plan alternating between traditional in-person classes and online schooling.
Students and parents will still have the option to use online learning if they would prefer not to have their child in school. They can switch to online and back at any point during the school year, he said.
"Not just Line Mountain, many of our colleagues worked hard across the state, and we worked together, and the goal post just continues to move," said Campbell. "I know that's frustrating."
The school board members voted to amend their health and safety plan to match recommendations from the state concerning wearing masks at all times. The previous plan had students allowed to take off masks if social distancing of six feet was able to be met. The exceptions for wearing masks are for eating/drinking, unsafe conditions and social distancing during 10-minute face-covering breaks, said Campbell.
Kindergarten students will attend classes every other day. The teachers will have half their students on one day and the other half on the next day, Campbell said.
Elementary School Principal Jeanne Menko said recess and physical education classes will be held. They are working on a plan to allow for activities that account for social distancing, she said.
Campbell said the district ordered 550 computers over the summer, but the high demand across the state means they will not have them for the first day of school.
Campbell encouraged parents, staff and other adults to set good examples for the students no matter what their opinion are on current events. He encouraged them to treat each other with respect.
"The only way things change now is if (the state) closes us," said Campbell.