Lakeview Community Schools intends to provide in-person education this year, but the district has a framework for online learning that will include more mandatory attendance.
Lakeview released its game plan Wednesday which outlined its tier system that corresponds to the East-Central District Health Department's Risk Assessment Dial.
“Based on the facilities, the staffing, the level of the education that we’re providing in each individual building, we’re going to be able to put in more or less risk-mitigation factors based on all those different things,” Superintendent Aaron Plas said. “So there are going to be times that we might be in a Tier I in one building, Tier II in the other just based on what we have the ability to do.”
There are different categories for the tiers, including face coverings, student/staff screening and handwashing.
For example, if the student and staff screening category is in Tier I, there will be no temperature checks for students or staff. In Tier II, staff will receive daily temperature checks and screening questions, among other measures.
Masks will be required for all students, and the district wrote in a letter shared publicly Wednesday morning that they intend to approach the situation as a “teachable moment” before moving to school discipline.
“This is new for all of us I mean, new for kids, new for staff. We fully recognize it’s not going to be perfect from the beginning but we’re all going to work our way through it and continue to make it better every day,” Plas said. “We intend to do what we always do, which is teach and grow and get better in that area, and we obviously don’t want any student to ever have disciplinary action if we can avoid it.”
At the beginning of the year, parents will be expected to screen their children at home every day, and if they have at least one symptom of COVID-19, including a dry cough or a loss of taste or smell, they are asked to keep students home.
If students have two or more of symptoms including chills, muscle pain nausea, or vomiting, they are asked to keep students home.
Water fountains will not be available, handwashing will take place when entering the building and before lunch, and field trip decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Students will be grouped and in assigned seating to help with contact tracing.
Chad Anderson, board member of Lakeview Community Schools, said this year is going to look different.
“I know everybody doesn’t agree with the masks and some people are for, some people are against it,” Anderson said. “For us as a school district, that’s about the safest and best way we can assure that we’re going to have some form of in-school for students at school.”
Although the district can’t control what students do outside of school, Anderson said they can make sure they follow the rules while they’re at school. It’s a better education in-person, he said, though the online learning worked for what they need it to do.
“Teachers and then the students can interact face-to-face,” Anderson said. “Teachers, I think, will have a better understanding of where their students are.”
Lakeview will continue to work on renovations like new classrooms, he said.
Plas said the new art, life skills and family and consumer science classrooms will be added by Christmas and some of the renovations are almost completed.
“We are finalizing Phase One of construction this week, which was one of the hardest to complete because it has a large portion of the remodel of the current facility and with the hard deadline to start school on time,” Plas wrote in an email. “During Phase One they have replaced the HVAC system, replaced the electrical system, replaced the lighting, removed all partition walls, painted, and put in new floor coverings. In addition, they have completed the addition of a district office to the front of the facility.”
The new classrooms will add a new level of education, he wrote.
“The environment within the building has changed dramatically with the updated temperature control system, and the modernizing of the facility,” Plas wrote.
Carolyn Komatsoulis is a reporter for the Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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