Upcoming School Year Draft Smart Start Re-entry Plans for POW Schools - P.O.W. Report

Friday, August 21, 2020

Upcoming School Year Draft Smart Start Re-entry Plans for POW Schools

by POW Chamber Directory Misty Fitzpatrick

The session began at noon and over the course of the one-hour luncheon, the number of participants ranged from 24 to 30 plus including all four POW Island School superintendents:
· Chris Reitan, Craig City School District
· Jim Holien, Klawock City School District
· Sherry Becker, Southeast Island School District
· Bart Mwary, Hydaburg City School District
All four superintendents described their District’s current draft Smart Start Re-entry plan (the school’s plan to re-open during COVID-19) noting that all are pending their respective board’s approval and that each is subject to change based on board/ public comment.

Each district’s Smart Start Plan includes a re-entry plan under a low, medium and high risk scenario with a definition for each scenario being determined by the number of COVID-19 cases on Prince of Wales Island within the previous 14 days. Depending on the risk level, the district will implement either a full on-campus schedule for students, a hybrid of distance/ on-campus mix, or a fully distance learning model. Draft Smart Start Plans are published on each District’s website.
All four superintendents met regularly over the summer in an attempt to develop re-entry plans that include some degree of consistency between the districts. With that being said, each plan has been tailored to meet the needs of the individual districts.
Some of the specific details provided by the superintendents include:

Mr. Reitan – The Craig School Board is in the process of reviewing comments submitted by the public. The definitions of low, medium and high risk are attracting a large portion of the comments and are likely to change as a result. Under the current draft plan, the schools would re-open in the intermediate risk level which requires 50% of the student body in attendance at one time with a distance model being used the remainder.
Mr. Holien – Klawock’s document is out for public comment. Under the current draft plan, the schools would re-open in the intermediate risk level requiring all of the students to attend for ½ of the school day with a distance model being used the remainder of the time.
Mrs. Becker – Michael Silverman was introduced as the new SISD Assistance Superintendent. The details of SISD’s plan vary between the seven schools to accommodate each facility’s unique characteristics including the amount of square footage available to allow for social distancing. As a result, some schools are slated to re-open under the low risk scenario and some in the intermediate.
Mr. Mwary – Under the current draft plan, the schools would re-open in the intermediate risk level for at least the first month requiring 50% of the student body to attend for ½ days each with a distance model being implemented the remainder of the time. In addition, since they have four-day school weeks, Staff would use Fridays to prepare course materials to be used in the event that the District moves to a high risk scenario and is required to implement a full distance learning model. The District is working with AP&T to provide internet at each student’s home.
Bus Service (under current draft plans): Craig will ask students within City limits to transport themselves and focus their bus service on Hollis, Klawock and Port Saint Nick. Students will be kept “one to a seat” with the exception of family members.
SISD will continue providing bus service with some modifications and provide travel reimbursements to parents who are not comfortable with their children riding the bus.

Masks (under the current draft plans): All school districts will require the use of masks under the intermediate risk scenario although this mandate varies between age/ grade levels between each district. The low risk scenario does not require the use of masks. Face guards for staff are being looked at by some districts.

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