LEES CREEK — Part of what school will look like at East Clinton when buildings reopen following the all-remote learning this past spring is assigned seating — at the cafeteria for lunch, on the bus and in the classroom.
And Superintendent Eric Magee thinks instruction in August will include training students to disinfect their desk area before they sit down, he said at Tuesday night’s board of education meeting. Students would be given cleaning supplies prior to the start of a class, with teachers monitoring the cleanup.
The assigned seating will give a boost to contact tracing in the event of a confirmed student case of COVID-19. Contact tracing is a key tool for minimizing the spread of the coronavirus.
In contact tracing, public health staff seeks to contact everyone who’s had close contact with the patient and thus has been exposed to the virus.
School buses are expected to be loaded from back to front, with the windows down weather permitting, and siblings next to one another. As reported previously, masks will be required on the bus for East Clinton students because the space on a school bus does not offer riders a chance to be six feet apart.
An official mask policy is required of all Ohio school districts, and the EC school board is expected to vote on one at its next session.
Magee pointed out Tuesday that if the governor’s statewide mask mandate remains in effect when school starts, the state order would supersede the district’s policy. That means students 10 and older would then be required to wear face coverings in school, the superintendent added.
This Friday, July 31 is the deadline for East Clinton families to sign up their children for the 100-percent online education option for the first semester, if that is the option the parents choose.
The other available option calls for starting the school year in a mixed model, where students receive both in-person and online instruction for the first three weeks. This plan aims for all East Clinton students after Labor Day to attend school each weekday except Wednesdays, which will remain as a remote learning day through the end of the first quarter Oct. 9.
As of noon Tuesday, 150 EC students had signed up for the Virtual Education option, which is about 12 percent of the student body.
Magee is asking parents, especially those with an inflexible work schedule, to have a backup person who, if necessary, can come pick up the parents’ child from school when the child exhibits symptoms.
East Clinton is looking into the possibility of contracting with a company to use an antimicrobial agent to professionally disinfect the schools, which is supposed to last 30 days. Several schools have contracted for the service, said Magee.
By September, the EC district expects to have a digital device for every student, including those in the early grades.
If there is a confirmed case of a student infected with the coronavirus, the Clinton County Health Department indicates it has the flexibility to close down just one classroom in the building — for instance, an elementary room where the young children stay all day except for lunchtime and restroom visits.
The superintendent said he knows parents have many questions about the upcoming academic year. While some of the questions can be answered by visiting the district’s website, Magee said if parents have questions, they can contact East Clinton.
In her monthly report, Food Services Director Anne Woodruff said the waiver that all meals are free — which started in March and continues through the summer vacation — is not expected to continue.
She also stated she has prepared menus for the three-week hybrid startup with a plan that group A will eat in-house on Mondays and Tuesdays and then have the option to take meals home for their online learning days. The same in-house menu will continue for Thursdays and Fridays for group B with the option for them to take meals home for their online learning days.
The in-house meals and the take-home meals will need to be charged based on the eligibility of the student.
“We will need to record meals in the point-of-sale system and report to the state our free, reduced, and full paid meal totals at the end of the [each] month,” reported Woodruff.
The East Clinton Athletic Boosters delivered a presentation about donations (cash and in-kind) from May 2019 to May 2020, totalling $17,190. The Athletic Boosters are hopeful to hold the Spring Fling in March 2021.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.