Tecumseh schools create 3 learning plans for reopening in the fall

Tecumseh Local Schools has created multiple plans to ensure flexibility as students return to the classroom in the fall during the coronavirus pandemic, the district superintendent said.

“Multiple plans are in place and will be deployed depending on specific circumstances that may occur throughout the school year,” said Superintendent Paula Crew. “We have developed a tiered system approach including three different learning plans to ensure we are prepared for a smooth continuation of learning.”

READ: Clark-Shawnee schools develop guiding principles for fall reopening

The school board approved the district’s plans for reopening in the fall. There three plans and students will begin with Plan A when school starts on Aug. 26, Crew said.

The three plans include:

  • Plan A: In school or remote learning - Students attend 'in-school' full-time or through remote learning.

Since the curriculum and instruction during remote learning will mirror in-school learning, students in K-5 starting the year using remote learning can return to in-school at any time and students starting in-school can switch to remote learning.

Students in grades 6-12 starting the year with remote learning will need to continue until the end of the first semester, but those starting in-school and wanting to change to remote learning must start from the beginning of the program.

  • Plan B: Blended learning - Only half of the students will attend in-school each day.
  • For example, one group could go on Mondays, Wednesdays and alternating Fridays and the second group could go Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternating Fridays. Students would be grouped based off their home address - even and odd.

    This option may be used if districts have to reduce the number of students attending in-school and will be influenced by changing guidelines.

    Under this plan, K-12 students participating in remote learning will continue that model.

  • Plan C: Remote learning for all grades K-12.
  • If districts are directed into another school closure, students will use the remote learning model

    Crew said “it is a priority” that the academic needs of students and those with unique circumstances are both fulfilled “regardless of school setting.”

    The district gathered data from staff and parent surveys as well as guidelines from the health district to help make the reopening plans, which Crew said may need to be adjusted throughout the year depending on the pandemic.

    One parent said she is comfortable with the district’s reopening plans and has chosen to send her two children back to school full-time.

    “We will be taking the appropriate steps to make sure they know how to follow all the guidelines for safety while in school and we are comfortable with that decision,” said Courtney McConnaughey, mother of a five and nine-year-old. “I am confident that the school district will do an amazing job tackling this during the school year for as long as they need to.”

    READ: Springfield City Schools present initial fall reopening plans

    Crew said that all staff members must wear a face covering when working or teaching within six-feet of others, students in grades K-2 are not required to wear a face covering and students in grades 3-12 are encouraged to wear one.

    “We strongly encourage students to bring a mask to wear, especially during times when social distancing is less possible, but masks will not be mandatory,” Crew said.

    McConnaughey said she is comfortable with the schools’ mask guidelines, for now.

    “I strongly believe in doing whatever we have to do to keep our kids safe, but I think it if comes to the point where our children are forced to wear a mask, we would prefer to home school them… I’m just not comfortable with forcing my children to wear a mask for six hours a day, they are just too little for that,” she said.

    Other guidelines for those attending in-school include: Students and staff must complete a health assessment each day before reporting to school; social distancing and sanitizing will take place on school buses and in the buildings; hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the buildings; protective barriers will be installed in areas such as the secretary’s desk and reception area; cafeteria tables will be separated and other spaces may be utilized for dining such as the gym or outdoor areas.

    Additionally, students will have limited access to their lockers throughout the day; drinking fountains will not be available but students can bring a clear, plastic water bottle; classroom seating will be adjusted and a seating chart will be developed in all classes, during lunch and on the bus; and students cannot stop to talk or visit others in between classes.

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