Williams County Public School District No. 8 has posted a draft of a plan to restart school in the fall while protecting students and staff from COVID-19.
The plan, which the state is requiring from every district, lays out what administration will do in various situations. The plan also tells parents what to expect from the coming year. Here are a few things to know about the draft plan.
Distance learning is a final resort
Unlike the draft plan for Williston Public School District No. 1, where parents will be able to choose between in-person and virtual learning at the beginning of the year, the District 8 plan has students in the classroom until the the state or the district change the color-coded phase the district is in. The state uses blue, green, yellow, orange and red to signify the lowest to highest chances of transmitting COVID-19. In the orange phase, the district would launch a hybrid of in-person and distance learning, and in red, everyone would move to distance learning.
Mask requirementsWhether students and staff will be asked or required to wear face coverings also depends on the color-coded phase. in the blue phase, which the state calls the new normal, masks would not be recommended. For green and yellow phases, face coverings are recommended and highly recommended, respectively. Only during the orange phase would face coverings be required. In the red phase, only required personnel would be in schools.
The draft of the plan also includes the steps the district will follow if a student or staff member gets sick during school or at a school event. If a positive case is confirmed in a school building, then the district will be closed for at least 10 consecutive school days due to the potential of cross contamination, and the district will immediately progress to red phase for the duration of the closure. Bus services will be suspended and parents will be alerted so they can pick up their children to take them home. Both students and staff who test positive will have to wear a face covering until they are picked up by a parent or leave the building.