The reopening of Lewisburg Area schools for in-person instruction calls for a staggered return of students over two days and a five-day instructional week that includes an early dismissal after lunch on Wednesdays.

Parents opting not to send their children for in-person instruction have until Aug. 13 to register for the district’s own online learning program, eSchool, or choose an alternative option.

Lewisburg Area School Board members voted unanimously Thursday to approve the district’s reopening plan and school calendar. The plan is based, in part, on a June 2020 parent survey where 59 percent indicated they preferred a return to in-person instruction with mitigation measures. Nearly 77 percent of 1,966 potential survey respondents answered the survey.

Lewisburg Area schools reopen Aug. 20-21. Students entering transitional grades return first on Aug. 20, allowing time to orient themselves to new settings: pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, fourth, sixth and ninth grades. Students in remaining grades return Aug. 21.

Face coverings are required for all students, faculty and staff, including on busses, when six feet of social distancing can’t be maintained. Masks will be available in all settings for students without a covering. There are coordinated, monitored masking breaks in mornings, lunch periods and afternoons, with students relocated to large-space settings like the gymnasium.

Outdoor and alternative indoor settings will be used for classes. Student movement, limited as it is, will be structured including on arrival and dismissal. Extra lunch periods will be added at the middle and high schools while elementary-level grades will rotate either having lunch in the cafeteria or an alternative setting.

Parents are tasked to screen children daily for symptoms of COVID-19 while staff must monitor themselves. Symptomatic students are asked to stay home and not return until cleared by a primary care physician or are symptom-free for at least 72 hours. If a student must quarantine, they’ll be assessed a single absence.

Confirmed reports of student or staff infection will be reported to the Union County Department of Public Safety.

Students will be grouped in cohorts during recess, rotating equipment use. The equipment and play materials will be sanitized daily. Library browsing isn’t allowed; rather, students will have books delivered in sealed bags. Returned books will sit untouched 72 hours before handled by library staff.

Parents are encouraged to arrange travel for their children. Those who ride busses will do so in assigned seating and coordinated boarding and de-boarding routines.

The plan, available on the district website at www.lasd.us, includes procedures and restrictions to be expected should Union County dip below green-county status.

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