By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion School Board met on July 20 and approved the return to learn plan. This return to learn plan is a step to regain somewhat of a normal school year.
“I think we’re excited to have all the kids back five days a week and get back to as normal as possible, Superintendent Travis Roundcount said.” “And that includes everything with lunch, once food options, bussing and everything that goes into that.”
This plan states that all students should be at the school for in-person instruction unless they are quarantined or sick five days a week. Additional support will be provided for students academically, socially, emotionally and other needs will be provided in different ways sich as after school tutoring, counseling, response to intervention (RtI) etc.
A quarantine will happen if a student gets a positive case or is around someone who tests positive while either not being vaccinated, not wearing a mask around the positive student or wearing a mask around a positive student, but being less than three to six feet apart.
Mask use is not required during school hours, but is recommended for people who are not fully vaccinated. On the buses though masks are required on all district-provided transportation. There will be masks provided on every bus and windows should be down when possible for open airflow.
Lunches will return to normal meal options, locations and times. Social distancing will happen as much as the cafeteria will allow. Water fountains will be used, but water bottles may also be allowed as the building administrator sees fit.
Hand sanitizer, washing hands and general good hygiene will continue to be promoted. In terms of cleaning, the custodians will provide appropriate daily cleaning to provide a clean and safe environment. For social distancing, students and staff may be subject to physical distancing based on the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines.
Numerous previous mitigation measures have been eased or removed. The administration may add or modify measures to classrooms, school buildings or the entire district as needed during the school year to prevent closures. These mitigations could include enhanced cleaning, required masks, modified schedules, etc. The district will review the plan at least every six months. The district will consider public input that ca be emailed to the superintendent or presented at school board meetings.
“We’re happy to get back into those times where we can provide those normal services again,” Roundcount said. “There’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to stay with that the whole school year. But while it is safe enough to provide those activities, we’re happy to do so.”
The school board also approved Policy 7:345 that relates to the use of educational technologies, student data privacy and security.
The next Mt. Zion School Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m.