ISD 518 releases Return to School Plan

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

WORTHINGTON – Worthington’s ISD #518 has released a detailed Return to School Plan, which is available in its entirety on the COVID-19 page. School goes back into session for the 2020-2021 year on September 8 with a hybrid plan of both in-person and distance learning.

Students at Prairie Elementary will attend class in-person two days a week and participate in distance learning three days a week. They will be divided into four groups, which will be done by family across the district, ensuring that children from the same household will attend school in-person on the same day.

Students at Worthington Middle School and Worthington High School will attend class in-person one day a week and participate in distance learning four days a week.

Wednesday will be used across the district to reach students who may need or desire additional instruction time as well as to clean district facilities with reduced traffic. All students will be required to check-in on Wednesday for attendance purposes.

According to Superintendent John Landgaard, If COVID-19 indicators in the community begin to trend downwards, it is possible that more students may attend class in-person more often. The district’s goal is to safely have all students attend class in-person every day, Landgaard said. However, if COVID-19 indicators in our community rise, the district may need to shift into a more restrictive model with students attending class in-person less or switching to a fully distance learning model.

ISD 518 will follow CDC guidelines and accommodate staff and students who are high risk for severe illness.

Students/Families and staff will be able to self-identify as high risk for illness due to COVID-19. Those who are determined based on medical documentation to be at high risk will be able to choose an alternate learning model or work assignment.

The Return to School Plan states students will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival, every two hours, before and after eating, before and after using outdoor play equipment, before and after events, after changing classes, and before exiting district facilities. Teachers will wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival, every two hours, and every time a new group of students enters their room or as needed.

All students, staff, and others present in district facilities or riding on school transportation vehicles are required to wear a face covering. ISD 518 will provide a supply of face coverings and/or face shields to employees and students. Employees and students may choose to wear their own face covering as long as it meets the minimum requirement of covering the nose and mouth and adheres to building practices including dress code.

During fully in-person learning and hybrid learning, students and staff are required to stay home if they have tested positive, are waiting for a test result, or are showing COVID-19 symptoms, of if they have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19.

The plan summary on the website gives a description of what signs and symptoms to look for, and how to proceed if a student or staff member is diagnosed COVID positive. It also explains when a student or staff member can return to school.

Again, the entire plan can be found on the website.

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