Tri-County School Corporation

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Tri-County has approved an in-person school re-entry plan, with the first day set for Aug. 6.

WOLCOTT — Tri-County School Corporation has prepared a plan that will allow students to return to school this year.

The first day of classes is set for Aug. 6, according to a re-entry plan Superintendent Patrick Culp presented Monday to the school board.

The board unanimously approved the plan.

“Trust me when I say it has not been easy or fun trying to come up with our re-entry plan,” Culp said. “But what we have tried to focus on is what is best for our students and staff.”

Culp, along with input from administrators, teachers and staff, created the re-entry plan. Culp said the goal was to provide in-person quality education while considering the concerns of all families.

The plan includes a remote learning option for those who are worried about attending school this fall while the COVID-19 health emergency persists. Remote learning will also be used should the school close for any reason.

The school intends to use Google Classroom to provide remote-learning students live in-class instruction. Culp said any family with concerns about sending their children back to school may contact the appropriate building administrators for accommodations.

The plan asks parents to perform self-screening measures at home prior to sending their children to school or on the bus. Any child with a fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and those with cough, runny nose, sore throat, chills, vomiting, or other symptoms should be kept home. Parents who are unsure if their child should remain at home may contact the school nurse for more instruction.

Each school building will have a full-time nurse on premises, with two clinic stations established. One will be for daily routine medicinal distribution, cuts, abrasions and other minor injuries. The second clinic station will be set up to care for students who may have a more concerning illness.

According to Culp, the district strongly encourages masks or face coverings. Although not mandatory, he said there may be a situation that will require masks or face coverings. Examples he gave include time spent riding buses, some classrooms sizes that may not allow for social distancing, or any other situation when social distancing is not possible.

The administrators have worked to keep most classes to less than 25 students to achieve social distancing in classrooms, Culp said.

A transportation plan has not been finalized but the tentative proposal is to add another route for Wolcott to help lighten the load and allow for social distancing on all bus routes. The plan calls to fill buses from back to front while alternating seats.

Social distancing practices will be used for breakfast, lunch and recess. Common areas will be thoroughly and routinely cleaned. The administrators have also allowed extra time for students to wash their hands during the day, especially before and after lunch and recess. There will also be hand-sanitizing stations strategically located throughout all buildings.

“A lot will change, some will be the same, and as we move forward we may have to make adjustments as federal, state and local officials advise us,” Culp said. “Please be patient with us. Our goal is to always keep students and faculty safe — all while providing the highest level of quality education.”