CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake School Board Wednesday night approved a “Return to Learn” plan that will have students going to school five days a week and will require the use of masks in most situations. A virtual option will be available to students, but mandatory attendance would be required.
Superintendent Doug Gee says the school district is in a good position to start with all the kids back in the classroom and be able to move things online if the situation warrants. “My thought would be to have them all come back, and if we have to shift into a hybrid or a virtual we do that, but let’s get them all back. Then we’d have the ability to if we start getting a lot of kids that are testing positive or being quarantined, then we can shift into a hybrid or a continuous virtual learning plan.”
Gee says masks use will be required for students and staff while in the classroom. He says the school district has used CARES Act funding to purchase two bandanna type face coverings for each student and staff member. “Due to some of the latest things that are being talked about and recommended, I would tend to lean more toward requiring them, and requiring them for all. Any time we can get them off of them and they can be socially distanced and the kids can not have to wear them, we would do that.”
Gee says a survey of parents showed that a majority wanted their kids to attend classes in person this fall. “I got more from what I read, more parents that really wanted and needed their kids back in school from that standpoint. Most of them wanted them back normally, and usually the ones that wanted to be virtual had some at-risk situations at home.”
Gee says the recommendation from the American Association of Pediatrics is that kids need some sense of normalcy in being back in the classroom. “They’ve come out very boldly and said our kids, especially our young kids, need to be in school and socializing with their peers. There are far more harmful effects happening to them by not doing that as opposed to COVID. Even the zero to 10 especially, the symptoms are not there and they aren’t transmitting.”
Gee says they will ask parents to check students’ health prior to sending them to school each day. “Right now the guidance from the Department of Public Health is that it’s really not worth the time that it takes to do the temperature screening by your staff. What we’re going to encourage parents to do is every day to take your kid’s temperature, if it’s above 100.3 that they would keep them home. If they are showing any kinds of signs or symptoms of COVID that they would keep them home, check in with the office.”
Gee adds that if they receive any new guidance from public health officials regarding school that it will be worked into the “Return to Learn” plan.
You can watch Wednesday night’s school board meeting below