A new Northern Lights Public Schools program is hoping to bridge the gap for families re-considering sending their children back to school.
Last week, the NLPS school board held a meeting to discuss their school re-entry plan called Learning Together Safely.
It would allow for parents to decide what the best option is for their child and family moving into the school year.
For families that would like to have their children continue online schooling, NLPS has created the Learning Together Anywhere program.
This program is meant to help students still feel like they are getting the benefits of classroom learning from home.
“The Learning Together Anywhere program will allow students to learn from home or another site that their parents selected for them. They will be connected with a teacher and other students that also will be learning online, and they will get their instructions and all their assignments that way,” said Nicole Garner, the Communications Officer for NLPS.
If families decide to send their children to school, they would be a part of NLPS’ Learning Together on Location program. This program has restrictions put in place to make sure the students’ learning environment is as safe as possible.
“All staff and students from Grades 4 to 12 are going to be expected to wear masks in any common areas of the schools and then also in classrooms in cases where physical distancing can’t be maintained,” said Garner.
“There will also be a much greater emphasis on hand watching and what the times are when it’s done. There will be hand sanitizing stations at all entrances and in all the classrooms and everyone will be required to sanitize before entering the facility and before entering a classroom.”
There is also going to be a self-assessment check-list anyone must fill out if they wish to enter the school. If students, staff, or parents are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms on the check-list they will not be allowed in the school.
There are still some challenges, the NLPS school board will have to plan for before the school year starts, and it has mainly to do with keeping common areas less crowded during peak times like at the beginning of the school day, during recesses, and at the end of the school day.
“Each school is going to have to come up with a plan that will work for them, and it’s obviously going to look different at each school because all of our schools are physically different from each other,” said Garner.
“Every school has a different number of entrances and exits, as well as alternate locations for drop offs and pick ups, so they are going to come up with a plan for their site with more detail in some of these areas.”
Parents will receive more information next week on how their child’s school will be navigating certain times of the day, and what they are expected to do during those times if they are picking up or dropping off their child.