Lakota students will learn in-person, start date pushed back a week

Lakota students will learn in-person, start date pushed back a week
Most Lakota students will return to school for in-person learning five days a week under the latest plan the district approved. (Source: FOX19 NOW/file)

WEST CHESTER TWP., Ohio (FOX19) - The Tri-State’s second-largest school district is holding in-person classroom learning for most students this fall, but the start date is now pushed back by a week and students will have a staggered return at first.

Lakota Local Schools approved their plan for the upcoming school year late last week, requiring most students to attend classes in person this fall unless they have opted to learn remotely.

About 3,300 of Lakota’s 16,800 students will learn online, district officials say.

The plan is subject to possible adjustments due to the changing nature of coronavirus and/or health orders from state, according to Lakota superintendent Matt Miller.

“As always, the safety and well-being of our students is our top priority,” Miller said in a statement on the district’s website.

“We continue to work alongside the Butler County Health Department and other local experts to do what is in the best interest of our students and staff. As the school year gets underway, feedback from our students, families and staff will also be critically important in adapting our plans.”

In-class classes will resume with several safety precautions in place including:

  • All staff will be required to wear a mask or face covering unless they can maintain 6′ of distance from others.
  • All students will be required to wear masks unless they are 6′ apart, with mask breaks given during the day
  • Physical distancing guidelines followed with 6′ separation when possible and at least 3′ between desks in classrooms
  • Students in grades 7-12 follow a block schedule to limit transitions per classroom
  • Preschool classes will be limited to 9 students per state guidelines
  • K-5 will follow a 2:1 ratio for students-to-devices
  • Grade 6 will be 1:1 in school
  • Grades 7-12 will be 1:1 take home program
  • Cafeterias will operate at 50% capacity
  • Busing continues its regular schedule with only 2 students per seat
  • Additional cleaning and PPE will be implemented in accordance with CDC, Ohio and Butler County COVID-19 guidelines
  • Health checks, including temperature, assessment at home by everyone before entering school or bus each morning
  • Hand sanitizer at every entry and classroom
  • Each classroom will be equipped with cleaning supplies to sanitize work areas throughout the day.

Here’s more details on Lakota’s plan.

The school board also approved shifting students’ start date to Monday, Aug. 17.

“The slight change gives our buildings the additional time they need to adapt student schedules to the new demands of this school year, both for in-person and the Virtual Learning Option, and provide additional training to staff as they prepare to help implement our new safety procedures,” Miller said in the statement on the district’s website.

Grades Kindergarten-12:

  • Last Names A-L will attend school on Monday, Aug. 17 & Wednesday, Aug. 19 (no school on Aug. 18 & 20).
  • Last Names M-Z will attend school on Tuesday, Aug. 18 & Thursday, Aug. 20 (no school on Aug. 17 & 19).
  • No school for all students on Friday, Aug. 21
  • All students will attend school together on Monday, Aug. 24.

Virtual Learning:

Students learning virtually will also follow a staggered start and attend school online according to the following schedule:

  • Last Names A-L will attend virtual classes on Monday, Aug. 17 & Wednesday, Aug. 19 (no school on Aug. 18 & 20).
  • Last Names M-Z will attend virtual classes on Tuesday, Aug. 18 & Thursday, Aug. 20 (no school on Aug. 17 & 19).
  • No school for all students on Friday, Aug. 21
  • All students will attend virtual classes on Monday, Aug. 24.

On Wednesday, Aug. 19, district officials say they will issue a survey to all parents, students and staff, both attending school in-person and virtually, to gather honest feedback about the start of the new school year.

“We will use Friday, Aug. 21 (a day off for students) to aggregate the results and begin making any needed adjustments for all students’ return the following week. Survey results will also be used to guide targeted professional development for our teachers,” Miller said.

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