Northeastern schools lay out fall reopening plan

Northeastern Local Schools will be offering families two options when schools reopen in the fall, the district superintendent said.

“These plans have been created with input from families, students, teachers, staff, administration and board members and in consultation with the Clark County Combined Health District,” said Superintendent John Kronour

The district will offer learning in person based off the Ohio Public Health Advisory System or learning at home.

For the learning in person option, students will attend in-school with safety protocols if the county is in level 1-3.

The learning in person options could include:

  • Operating at 100% capacity five days a week (level 1-2).
  • Operating as hybrid/remote if the district must proceed at reduced capacity. Students would attend two days in person and the rest online. One group would go Monday and Tuesday and the other would go Thursday and Friday (level 3).
  • Providing full virtual learning depending on the increased health risk (level 4).

Guidelines in place for those that choose the learning in person option include parents conducting wellness health checks before sending children to school and parents providing a face covering as well as a full water bottle each day for each student.

“Northeastern will inform parents of the safety protocols in place and that any student who attends school will incur some level of risk,” Kronour said. “Schools will decrease the likelihood of infection with hygiene, cleaning and safety procedures, but being in a public place carries a certain level of risk that cannot be completely eliminated.”

For the learning at home option, students in grades K-5 will use the Edmentum curriculum with support provided by Edmentum certified teachers and students in grades 6-12 will use a self-paced Edmentum curriculum monitored by Northeastern staff.

Kronour said families that choose this option must do so by Aug. 5 and students will have to enroll for an entire semester.

A mother of a second grader and junior in the district said she’s a “bit indifferent” about schools reopening but plans to send her children to school.

“I’m ready for the kids to get to some kind of normalcy, I just hope it’s not too soon with the growing numbers,” said Amber Scurlock. “My youngest really wants to be in the classroom setting and not have to be online full time, and my oldest is considered special needs and really needs that one-on-one interaction and the teachers can teach her much better than I can.”

Another mother who has two children in the district said the plans are a bit confusing.

“As a mother of four children who has to work a full-time job to provide, I cannot be home with my children to do distant learning,” said Amanda Russell, who has a fourth and eighth grader in the district. “I wouldn’t be able to do the five days a week distance learning so I will do what is necessary.”

All staff and students will be required to wear face coverings regardless of grade level, Kronour said. Masks breaks will also be provided, especially for the younger students, and exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis or depending on the activity where they are unsafe or unrealistic.

Staff and students will be required to wears masks on buses, entering and exiting buildings, whenever near others in the classroom, and in common spaces such as hallways, during class changes, waiting in the cafeteria line, entering and exiting classrooms, and moving in classrooms.

Kronour said parents and staff are to provide the masks, if possible. He said masks can be removed when in the classroom while students are seated at their desks and socially distanced.

Scurlock said she feels these guidelines “seem fair,” but Russell said she is “not a supporter.”

“I believe more germs will be spread in the school with them. I do not believe they protect anyone. I see adults not properly wearing them, I’m not sure how a child is expected to do so either,” Russell said.

Other guidelines include hand sanitizer to be available throughout the buildings, classroom surfaces will be sanitized using a daily schedule, restroom surfaces and water fountains will be sanitized every two hours, hand washing practices will be implemented, barriers will be installed in classrooms between desks, efforts will be made to provide as much physical distance as possible in the classroom, and seating charts will be made.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System – Northeastern Learning Levels

Level 1 Public Emergency (yellow): Active exposure and spread – Operate at 100% capacity with mitigation strategies, all students report to school.

Level 2 Public Emergency (orange): Increased exposure and spread, exercise high degree of caution – Operate at 100% capacity with increased mitigation strategies, all students report to school.

Level 3 Public Emergency (red): Very high exposure and spread, limit activities as much as possible – Operate at approximately 50% capacity, hybrid learning option.

Level 4 Public Emergency (purple): Severe exposure and spread, only leave home for supplies and services – Buildings will be closed to students for at least 14 days, all online learning (full virtual).

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