Warrick County schools are gearing up to head back to class.

Schools are planned to reopen for the fall semester on Wednesday, Aug. 12. The corporation has been working to establish and execute a plan for reopening amidst the pandemic involving regular cleaning, the requirement to wear masks per the state order and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Superintendent Brad Schneider told the Warrick County School Board that in addition to the overall plan for the corporation, each school has their own plan with specific rules and adjustments for the semester. However, he said all of those documents will likely change as the pandemic progresses.

“That thing is going to be a living document,” he told the board ahead of their approval of the corporation’s plan. “That thing is going to be updated, modified on a regular basis.”

In addition to the measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus at school in person, the corporation is also offering live streaming as an option.

For students in kindergarten through fifth grade, there will be a designated teacher to teach all of the students utilizing the live stream option. All classes from grades six to 12 will be live streamed for students utilizing the option to attend remotely.

Ultimately, many of the plans to host students in person not only relies on cleaning, the availability of hand sanitizer and social distancing, but many schools are implementing procedures to keep surfaces touchless and to keep students from congregating during passing periods and lunch.

Schneider said the new procedures come with a need for more staff at many of the schools, As such, the board approved hiring 24 new program assistants at various schools to be funded with money granted from the CARES Act in their regular meeting.

“We are hiring additional program aides that will be assigned responsibilities associated with COVID-19,” Schneider said.

School board members echoed concern for the school year. The board approved the overall plan allowing for future changes and gave Schneider the authorization to make decisions about hiring to cover bases once the school year starts.

“I just want to be ready on day one when students walk through the door,” board member Jane Wilhelmus said.

Each school has now released their individual reopening plans. They are available on each school’s website. For information or to see the corporation’s plan in full, visit the corporation’s COVID-19 website at www.warrick.k12.in.us/about/covid.php.

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