Seymour board discusses reopening plan
By Rich Palzewic
SEYMOUR – The Seymour school board discussed its final reopening plan at its Tuesday, Aug. 25, virtual meeting.
Pre-K through fifth-grade students will be attending school full-time, in-person five days per week, while grades 6-12 will attend in-person two days per week and learn virtually the other three days.
“The biggest thing that keeps me awake at night is the unknown,” said Superintendent Laurie Asher. “Normally, on the first day of school, there’s excitement and everyone knows what to expect. This year will be different. Now that our staff has come back and gotten used to things and how the year will operate, they’re more comfortable. I’m hoping it’s the same for students and parents where we get into a routine. I want school to start.”
Asher said she’s confident the district and the Seymour board has done everything possible to provide a safe environment.
“From a planning standpoint, we’ve had lots of months to plan,” she said. “We are tweaking daily because the information is changing rapidly.”
As part of the mitigation plan, everyone (students, visitors, parents and staff) will be required to wear a face covering, except when working alone in a room, are outside, or have a medical exemption.
Staff will take their classes outside when possible to allow for mask breaks and instruction.
The school nurse will be handling exemptions for face coverings through normal medical procedures.
Also, all staff and students should perform a daily self-screen before boarding a bus or entering any school building.
The district is stressing students/staff stay home if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
“That’s the biggest change from our last plan,” Asher said. “In our original plan, we were having everyone report their pre-screen findings to us daily. They no longer have to report their findings. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says everyone should still do the screening, but it’s not needed to report the findings. We’re better off educating people on what to look for. Everyone needs to be responsible.”
Having students miss 10-14 days of school. if they test positive for COVID-19, is something Asher said will be a challenge.
“In the past, if you had the flu and were symptom free after 24 hours, you could come back to school,” she said. “If you missed a few days, it was easy to catch up. With COVID, it’s a long time to be out of school. How do we continue their education virtually in that situation? It will be a challenge.”
Asher said Brown and Outagamie county superintendents have been meeting weekly during the summer.
“With West De Pere sending all students back full-time, it will be a good example for us to look at,” she said. “They are similar in size to us. The superintendents will continue to meet after school starts and see what works and what doesn’t.”
She said the district is continuing to monitor sports.
“We are currently holding our low-risk sports and are on track to begin the high-risk sports Sept. 7,” she said. “We’re monitoring that from now until then, and there could be changes if needed.”
To view other mitigation efforts and practices being instituted by the district, visit Seymour.k12.wi.us.