Chariton Schools Superintendent Larry Achenbach went over a rough draft of a Return to Learn Plan he has formed for the 2020-21 school year at the monthly school board meeting July 13.

No action was taken on the plan as it was only a discussion item on the meeting agenda. The school board will hold a special meeting on Monday, July 27, at 5 p.m. where they will finalize and approve their Return to Learn plan for 2020-21. The meeting will be held at the administrative offices at 140 East Albia Road in Chariton.

“Right now I’m planning on us coming back. That has been the plan all along. We’ve got to look at what equipment we’re going to use to protect teachers and students. We’re looking at getting protective shields to put up for teachers in their classrooms. If the teachers want to wear masks, they can do that,” Achenbach said.

According to the rough draft of the Return to Learn plan, teachers will be allowed to wear masks or face shields, but they will not be required.

Achenbach also went over different transportation guidelines. “We’re looking at having 10-13 people on a bus at a time and to spread them out. If there’s more than one person to a seat on the bus, we’ll require a mask because there will be less than six feet of distance between them,” Achenbach said.

According to the rough draft, students and staff will have temperatures taken daily as they enter the building. Standard protocol will be followed if students have a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The school board members agreed that taking temperatures of students and staff each day is a great idea.

There will be increased access to hand sanitizer throughout the buildings for students and staff. Water fountain use will be discouraged and it was suggested at the meeting to possibly even turn them off at schools and issue water bottles instead. “We recommend that students bring their own water bottles to use at our refill stations,” Achenbach said.

Achenbach also said that he didn’t know what the district was going to do as far as lunch times and how to handle lunch in school. “If we can’t get all kids into the lunch room at different times, how many can we get in at once?” he wondered.

Achenbach said the district is considering two come back options for grades Pre-K through 5, one of which is come to school every day, which he wants them to do.

“I’d like for grades Pre-K through 5 to come to school every day and spread them out in the classroom as much as we can,” Achenbach said.

For grades 6-12, students will follow an A/B schedule or hybrid plan where they will be placed into A and B groups. On A days, students in the A group will come to school for their normal schedule. Students in B group will attend classes virtually for A days.

On B days, students in the B group will attend school for their normal schedule and A group students will learn virtually. The A group will meet Monday and Thursday while the B group will meet on Tuesday and Friday. Wednesdays will be the days where teachers work with identified students either in-person or virtually to meet specific needs.

Read the July 21, 2020 edition of the Chariton Leader/Herald-Patriot for the rest of the story.

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