CORRECTED: Cherokee School Board approves school reopening plan
July 15, 2020
(Ed note: The story “Cherokee School Board Approves School Opening Plan,” which ran in the July 15 Newsgram, incorrectly reported that the reopening plan as approved by the board included a requirement to wear face masks. That portion of the reopening plan was tabled for further discussion until the school board's August meeting. The Newsgram regrets the error. The corrected story is below.)
Cherokee Public Schools held its regular monthly school board meeting Monday evening.
After approving the consent agenda (consisting of minutes of past meetings, encumbrances, warrants, purchase orders, fund balances, and the treasurer's report), the board voted to adopt several policy changes and a plan for opening school in the fall.
The policy changes appeared to center around changes needed to make sure that instruction takes place even if the school has to close partially or completely for periods of time as cases of covid-19 in the area rise and fall. Policies amended or adopted had to do with attendance, a medical exemption review committee process for eligible exemptions and documentation of decisions, online instruction, screening of students and staff, use of school property, and the official opening plan.
Cherokee Schools Opening Plan
Cherokee Public Schools has developed its plan for opening school in the fall – with the exception of a proposed face mask requirement, which will be discussed at the next board meeting. Called the Open and Stay Open 2020-2021 COVID-19/Pandemic Plan, it states that school will reopen to students on Aug. 14.
“Our goal is to OPEN and STAY OPEN,” the plan states. “We will be proactive and start school with restrictive practices and increase those measures if cases of COVID-19 in the community and county start to increase.”
The plan details everything from new sanitation measures to what the school will do if they learn a staff member or student has tested positive for COVID-19. For example, the facilities and buses will be disinfected with sprayers every evening. Breakfast will be given in students' rooms, and lunch periods will be staggered.
The plan also outside three general risk levels and their associated plan. Plan A will require students learn via distance learning one day a month; Plan B (depending on the number of COVID-19 cases) will be a mix of in-class and online learning; Plan C would be a completely virtual learning environment.
The board also made some changes to the calendar, designated as surplus 35 youth football helmets that were out of date and no longer met regulations, and approved changes to the school handbook. The school's contract with Kan-Okla was also approved.