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Older Students’ Short Return To Full-Time Classes

By Charlie Feldman

Seventh- through twelfth-grade students in Triad schools will return to full in-person learning for 11 days next month as an experiment, but whether and when this will become permanent is too early to say, Superintendent Leigh Lewis told the Triad School Board at its Monday, October 26 meeting.

The period is from November 9-24.

“We’ve worked with some parents that had questions about mitigation strategies when all the students would be returning to the building,” Lewis told the board. “We’re doing everything we can to continue those strategies which we know work.”

She said she told the parents that there was no transmission of the COVID-19 virus during the first quarter.

“Even the health department has sent kudos to our school nurses about how well they’ve done their job,” she said. “So I think we’re ready for this next step.” She said it was possible that more children would have to be quarantined. “But we won’t know that until we give it a try,” she added.

“If we think it’s safe, I think the kids need to be in school,” Lewis said. “If we don’t think it’s safe, then we need to continue on the hybrid schedule.”

“I know some districts are telling their parents now what they’re going to do for the whole second semester,” she added. “I would prefer not to do that because it’s hard to make a commitment one way or the other at this point as far as full in-person because I feel like as soon as we say we’re going to be full in-person something’s going to happen and that might cause us to rethink our decision. And so I’d like to give it until at least closer to the holidays – that December mark – and see what how things are going in and evaluate it and let our teachers association as well as our parents and definitely our administration talk through this before we make any decisions about second semester.”

In other developments, Director of Business and Communication Mike Raymond reported that the St. Jacob Police Department has been awarded a $40,000 school safety grant.

“The neat thing about this grant,” he said, “is it actually takes some of our existing technology and brings it on one single platform with the dispatch center.

“From a dispatch center they can open up any camera, they can talk on the P.A. system, they can unlock doors remotely for people to enter, whether it’s first responders – fire alarms, they can pinpoint that and bring it all on one single platform.”

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