Board chooses plan to bring students back to classrooms

by Marianne Gasaway

Clear Lake students will return to learning Monday, Aug. 24, with a plethora of safety measures in place.

At a special meeting held Wednesday, July 29, Clear Lake School Board approved a “Return to Learn” plan that provides in-classroom instruction five days a week.  A virtual learning option is available if deemed necessary by parents or the school district.  Students will be graded; there will be no pass/fail.  Those utilizing the virtual learning option must still complete and turn in assignments.

Attendance is mandatory in each scenario, unless a student is sick.  Parents are asked to check students’ health prior to sending them to school each day.  If a child’s temperature is above 100.3 the student should be kept at home.

The School Board made its decision Wednesday night, July 29, following a work session in which parent responses to a school-issued survey were shared and questions involving safety protocol were discussed.

According to Superintendent Doug Gee, survey results showed nearly half of parents, 49 percent, said they wanted kids to return to learning face-to-face.  Twenty-nine percent favored a hybrid plan which split students between home and in-classroom time, and 20  percent wanted on-line learning only.

Under the school district’s plan, students and staff are required to wear masks while in the classroom.  The district will provide two, single-layer cloth masks for each student.

Board member Dr. John Brady said he believes it will be difficult for those younger than second grade to keep the masks on all day and he acknowledged there are varying opinions about the effectiveness of masks in general.  However, the board ultimately passed a requirement for masks for all students and faculty when social distancing is not possible.

Social distancing and hygiene will be encouraged in all aspects of the school day.  Desks in classrooms will be arranged to keep students a minimum of six-feet apart and school leaders will do their best to discourage students from congregating at lockers or other common areas on school grounds.  Water fountains have

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