Back to School: Centerville City Schools prepping for mid-October return to classrooms

Back to School: Centerville City Schools prepping for mid-October return to classrooms
Centerville High School File Photo

CENTERVILLE — Centerville City Schools are eying an Oct. 19 return to the classroom, four days per week, with a remote-learning option remaining in place.

Superintendent Tom Henderson laid out his reopening plans at the district’s Board of Education meeting Monday evening.

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Under Henderson’s plan, for at least the second quarter, students would attend in-person classes Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week. Students would learn remotely on Wednesdays.

Classrooms would be arranged to create as much asocial distancing as possible, with barriers, signage in high traffic areas, and schedule modifications to allow for health and safety protocols. Masks, hand washing and sanitizing surfaces will be part of the daily routine.

Teachers will be required to facilitate both in-person and remote learning, with online classes having some similarities to the current learning set up, with the district potentially making adjustments depending on teacher schedules and staffing availability.

Henderson said the district will do a soft opening on Oct. 15 and 16 to help put protocols in place, and especially to allow students entering a new building for the first time get used to the new school.

He added, the district will remain nimble to deal with COVID-19 infections if they occur.

“Should we have to pivot to some other kind of learning option, if there was an outbreak in one of our building or across the district that would require us to do something and change, we feel like we’re prepared to pivot very quickly,” he said.

Centerville City Schools plan to release more detailed information about the return to school plan this week.

EARLIER REPORT

The district started off the year with online learning, but is switching to in-person classes for the second quarter, beginning Oct. 19. This will be the first time students will be back in the classroom since March.

“I thought they’d wait a little bit longer to make that decision,” said Nick Willis, a Centerville High School senior.

Sarah Michaelson, also a senior, was surprised as well. “Just because I feel like online school is going pretty well,” she said.

In a statement to News Center 7, Sarah Swan, community relations specialist for the district, said, “We also will continue to offer remote learning with Centerville teachers and curriculum as an option for those families that are unable or uncomfortable returning to school buildings.”

Michaelson is nervous about going back to school during the pandemic.

“I’m pretty good with wearing my mask all of the time, but I know a lot of students aren’t and they think it’s kind of a joke,” she said.

She and Willis said they are excited that they will get to experience certain high school traditions, such as prom and spirit week, before they graduate.

Willis is waiting to find out how the district plans to keep students safe.