Cerro Gordo Schools Tentative Back to School In Person Learning Plan

By CHRISTY JANKOWSKI
Staff Writer

Many have anticipated what going back to school will look like this fall. Normally, the first day is filled with parents bustling their kids for their first day, snapping photos of their children holding kleenex boxes with maybe a grin, possibly a sneer. This year, I am certain there will be camera clicks, but from a distance. First day photos will be filled with children and teachers donning masks. Students will not be filling up their cubbies or lockers as those are not permitted.

For now the district has released some details on their website, but Robinson states it is not meant to be the final outline for the year, stating, “When I sent the thing out I didn’t plan for it to be anything, so really most of the answers to the questions of what the plan contains and what is going to be this or that is all forthcoming. It’s really not there yet, because it is such a fluid moving target, with variables kinda changed guidance gets tweaked and changed.” Adding, “Because it could change.”

On July 14 the district released a statement from Robinson on the website along with a survey for parents to complete.

As of now they are planning on the first half day of school to be Monday, August 17 and full days of attendance starting on the 18th. The district will have one hour shortened days for deep cleaning. The letter states, “The early dismissal each day is necessary to provide our teachers additional time for planning and communicating lessons/assignments to any and all students unable to attend in person, as well as sufficient time for the required increase in school wide cleaning and disinfection.”

Parents are required to send their children to school Covid-19 symptom free, “Sending students to school is parent certification that the students are temperature and COVID-19 symptom free.

Working together, we believe all of the above can be accomplished in the best interest of educating our students, while maintaining the well-being of our students and staff.”

The letter adds at the end that some of this may change, and the district will have a public plan released no later than August 3rd. “Any and all parts of the plan are subject to change pursuant to updated public health guidance and changing public health conditions. Any changes will be communicated to parents in a timely manner.”

Robinson stated the district has submitted a plan to ISBE for their CARES funding, which amounts to around $80,000 for Cerro Gordo Schools. Robinson states the plan includes. “A variety of things sanitizing cleaning type of things, PPE, it’s technology, it’s how to give more ability of kids to have internet access.”

However, they have not purchased anything with the funding as of yet. “The CARES act funding allows districts to use those funds until September of 2021, so as time goes on you know we can add additional, It won’t be additional dollars, but how we allocate and use the dollars for the CARES funding we can amend and change.”

As far as things like Physical Education, extra curriculars, and more information will be available later.

If the district has to revert to remote learning instead of in person instruction, they believe they have enough devices for each student. Principal Jeremy Rodebaugh stated, “We don’t have enough devices for every student (currently) but do have enough to supplement where needed.”

As for the future, Rodebaugh is implementing his 1:1 plan for each student to have a Chromebook. Each Chromebook and the protection gear costs around $350, but comes with insurance available for breakage. This year all 7th and 10th graders will have their own devices. By the school year of 2022-23, Rodebaugh plans for each student to have their own device.

As far as guidelines go, Robinson stated, “We are not going to come back to school and not follow the guidelines, or we can’t come back to school.”

The district accepted resignation from: Emily Waddell, Andrew Renshaw, and Dianna Leigh

The district hired Mary Um for K-12 Music

The district approved all handbook changes, more information to come on this once handbook is released

The district approved raising lunch prices by 10 cents, all other school fees remain the same

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