Austintown Local Schools breaks down plans to resume classes

Local News

All students will have their temperatures checked when they go into the buildings

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Faculty and parents came together inside the Austintown Fitch High School auditorium Thursday evening to discuss the district’s plans for resuming classes this fall.

Superintendent David Cappuzzello said there will not be a hybrid or “blended” option for the 2020-2021 academic year. Rather, there will be three education options to choose from.

In the first option, students will come to school Monday through Friday during normal school hours, but safety precautions will be in place.

In the second, students will learn from home over Zoom. These classes will also be with a teacher and during normal school hours.

The third option is E-Learning, where students work at their own pace in a program that has been in place before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents at the meeting had the chance to see some new tools that the schools will be using to keep students and faculty safe, including temperature checks, desk shields and the Clorox 360, an electrostatic sprayer that will be used to clean classrooms.

All students will have their temperatures checked when they come in the buildings.

School nurses said if a student’s temperature is above 100 degrees, they will be taken to an isolation room and checked again 15 minutes later. If their temperature is still above 100 degrees, that student will be sent home.

Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available in hallways, classrooms, front offices, cafeterias, gyms and buses.

Cappuzzello said the students will be responsible for wiping down their own desk before leaving the classroom. Extra maintenance staff will be assigned in each building to clean bathrooms and common areas between classes.

They are also reducing exposure by hiring 12 permanent substitute teachers that will work in place of teachers when necessary.

All students will have to wear masks when arriving at school, using the bus, in the hallways and leaving for the day.

Cappuzzello said while the state recommends all students in grades three and up wear masks, the district hasn’t decided on grade level requirements.

Students will also have assigned seats in both classrooms and on buses throughout the academic year.

If a student or staff member does test positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for 14 days and can utilize the offered remote learning.

They recommend that students stick with their learning option through the nine-week period, but Cappuzzello said this gives students the chance to work from home if they feel sick but are well enough to do school work.

They did not go into specifics on building policies, saying that the principals still need to talk those over with teachers and staff.

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