MANDATA — Kindergarten students in Line Mountain School District will attend classes every other day while students in grades fifth through 12 will alternate between traditional in-person classes and online schooling in the upcoming academic school year.
At Tuesday night's public meeting via Zoom, Superintendent Dave Campbell informed the board members, staff and members of the public how the district would be handling the 2020-21 school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first day of classes is Aug. 24 and the hybrid plan will be reevaluated on Sept. 4.
"After two weeks, we'll be able to make that assessment and go from there," said Campbell. "It allows parents to know exactly what we're doing, it will give us a true look."
There are 88 kindergarten students registered as of Tuesday, according to Elementary School Principal Jeanne Menko.
Those 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.
Students in first-through-fourth grade will attend in person, but parents have the option of using online learning if they would prefer not to have their child in school, said Campbell.
Students in fifth-through-12th grades will attend two days of in-person classes and three days of online classes. Students will the last name starting with A-L will attend in person on Monday and Tuesday and M-Z will attend Wednesday and Thursday. Parents can choose more online learning if they wish, said Campbell.
If the number of students choosing full-time online would be great enough to allow social distancing with everyday attendance, the district will begin everyday attendance on Sept. 8, said Campbell.
The district purchased 15,000 face masks so students can have at least three masks each to use. They must wear masks when they get on the bus and in school, unless they are properly social distanced or have a doctor's recommendation, said Campbell.
PPE equipment has been added to all classrooms; a health and safety plan was developed to clean and sanitize the buildings; hallway traffic will be minimized and large group gatherings will be limited, Campell said.
Parents are encouraged to transport their children to school. Buses will be disinfected daily after morning routes are completed. Face coverings and assigned seating will be required on buses. Roof hatches and windows will be opened whenever possible to allow for the best ventilation. Bus changes will be suspended, said Campbell.
Recess will be held with social distancing and face coverings. Efforts will be made to minimize the sharing of materials and equipment as well as the cleaning after each use. Gym classes will be outside when possible and gym, art and music teachers will rotate classrooms for K-8 in order to limit movement and keep student cohorts together, said Campbell.
The district will send out a mailing on Aug. 10 that includes schedules, daily symptoms checklists and COVID guidelines.
Campbell encouraged parents and students to work together with the district, a sentiment that Director Lauren Hackenburg reiterated with her own comments.
"It's a time for grace," said Hackenburg. "I see it happening and I love it. We all need to be very understanding of one another and where we're at. We're all in it together but we may be in different places."