More schools across North Dakota are releasing drafts of their plans and a district on the outskirts of Minot says its students will need to wear masks this fall.
KX News spoke to the superintendent of Nedrose Schools and the school board president, who’s also a parent, to get more details.
“Balancing educational value with their safety. So, you try to find, obviously, you’ve got to kind of figure out how to balance the two and keep them safe while giving them the best education we possibly can,” said Matt Norby, superintendent of Nedrose Public School.
Getting 580 students back in school on August 19 has taken a lot of planning by the team at Nedrose.
With the average class size around 20 kids, superintendent Norby says social distancing will be nearly impossible.
“In order to make that happen, one of the requirements was going to have to be masks for us because we couldn’t do social distance in our hallways and things like that,” Norby said.
“If I could make the decision as a parent, I’d throw the masks in the garbage. But, as a school board president, we really need to keep, you know, everybody in mind. Not just the children — the teachers, the parents, the administration — keep them all in mind,” said James Vannett, school board president/parent.
Another way they’re trying to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus is encouraging teachers to ditch the classroom and teach outside instead.
“One of the other bigger changes for Nedrose is going to be our lunch. We’re going to do lunch in the classroom. Trying to not have people out in the commons, kind of the idea of ‘podding’ them up and keep them with their group,” Norby said.
There are new cleaning protocols, too.
The school district purchased new disinfecting equipment called foggers. Custodians will fog bathrooms and playgrounds during the day, and then every classroom at night.
“It’s going to be one of those school years that we’re going to remember and we’ll get through it. We’ll have to work together. It’s going to be definitely different, but it’s going to be one day at a time, sometimes it’s going to be hour by hour,” Norby said.
Norby also says the plan will be evaluated and tweaked as the school year winds on.
Our Redeemer’s Christian School in Minot also released its plan.