North Summit Superintendent Details School District's Reopening Plans and Precautions
The North Summit School District is planning to resume classes on Wednesday, Aug. 19, and district superintendent Jerre Holmes says they will do whatever is required to get their students back in a school safely
Holmes said one positive note is that the schools aren’t facing this challenge by themselves. They’re following the direction set by the governor’s office, the State Board of Education, and the Summit County Health Department.
He said in his district, remote learning equipment will be available for any students whose families don’t feel it is appropriate for them to return to a classroom.
”We’ve got different situations—some who maybe have someone in the family who is compromised,” Holmes said. “And so they don’t feel like sending their children is a good idea. And we will remotely teach them. We purchased cameras for all of our classrooms and our hope is to be able to teach those students at home, as it happens in the classroom. If that will work, it will be certainly less work for the teachers. Our concern initially was that they’ll be teaching the kids in their class and then we’ve got to worry about at home. So we’re going to try to make that happen simultaneously.”
He said that so far, a few students in each of the three North Summit schools have indicated they will stay at home.
Holmes said face coverings will be required in classrooms.
“We are offering our teachers whatever PPE they feel like they need,” he said. “We’ll be putting some plexiglass up, and providing gloves, masks, shields, whatever they feel like they need. We will accommodate students as well.”
In the classes, he said, teachers are being asked to remove all non-essential items. Holmes said they’re trying to distance the participants as much as they can, but they can’t guarantee six feet.
While North Summit High has traditionally only had one lunch period, it will now have two. The superintendent said the school will have no large assemblies and will cut back on unnecessary contact.
And if a staffer or a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to go into a 14-day quarantine.
Holmes also said that all of their teachers are coming back.
“We’ve had a couple of our para-professionals, who have decided that it’s not worth it for them to come back; and we respect that, obviously,” he said. “But as of now, all of our teachers will be coming back. And each of them has some different requests as far as our accommodations, but we’re grateful that they’re coming back, and we hope that we can keep them safe in all of this.”