NCSD identifies objectives in reopening schools in a COVID-19 world - Casper, WY Oil City News
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NCSD identifies objectives in reopening schools in a COVID-19 world

File; Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City News

The Natrona County School District #1 officials are saying that proactive and targeted planning is underway to reopen schools for summer learning and next fall. 

The statement echoing similar sentiments released earlier, but this time following a Governor’s announcement that restrictions on schools, during the global coronavirus caused COVID-19 pandemic, would be lifted.

The written statement from NCSD#1 was sent to media during the afternoon of June 11, noting some details of what is to come, including some key objectives.

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“In order to ensure a successful, happy, safe, and healthy learning environment for all students and circumstances the Natrona County School District is working through a comprehensive reopening plan,” the statement read.

The four key objectives as part for reopening schools were described as follows:

  1. Reopen schools this summer and fall in a safe, responsible, and healthy manner following all state and local requirements.
  2. Maintain continuity in learning across a variety of educational settings.
  3. Align fiscal and personnel resources to meet the needs of reopening schools.  
  4. Communicate effectively with all stakeholders. This includes listening, responding, and delivering information. 

“We know there are many questions from parents, students, and our community regarding what the school environment will look like next year,” NCSD said. “These are all important questions and we assure you, we are working diligently, and as quickly as possible, with our local and state officials to identify answers to each of them.”

“We are in the process of gathering stakeholder feedback that will be used in the reopening plan,” shared Superintendent Elect, Mike Jennings. “It is absolutely imperative that all stakeholder voices are heard as we work together to develop a plan to reopen schools for summer and fall that meets the needs of all students, staff, and school families.” 

Some of the questions the district said they’re homing to answer in the future include:

  • Will students be asked to wear masks?
  • How will social distancing work?
  • What about students and families who would like to choose online only for their NCSD student?
  • What happens if a school has a COVID positive case, and it’s highly likely that they will? 

NCSD says they recently sent out a survey to parents and all staff requesting information regarding what went well and what didn’t this spring in remote/virtual learning.

That survey is open for feedback until June 12th. 

“We know the success of our schools and students depend on the partnership and collaboration between schools, staff, families, and our entire community,” said Jennings. “We are incredibly grateful for this partnership and truly want to express our sincere appreciation for the dedicated work of our students, staff, school families, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department, and entire community…all year long, but especially these past few months.” 

All NCSD schools will offer a summer learning option through July 27th – through August 14th. NCSD says they will be submitting a variance request for this summer learning opportunity.

“The NCSD Athletics and Activities variance request plan for summer non-contact drills and skills for activities and athletics was approved by the Casper-Natrona County Health Department, the State of Wyoming Public Health Department, and the Wyoming Department of Education,” the statement said. “The health and safety of students, staff, and our community remains our priority focus. Protocols identified for the return of summer school learning and athletics and activities may be revised in accordance with all directives or orders of the Governor of the State of Wyoming and/or the Casper-Natrona County Health Department as restrictions ease or tighten during this time.”

The below safety and health practices will reportedly remain in effect for Summer learning and activity opportunities: 

  • Please, stay home if you are sick. 
  • Restrictions on group sizes remain in place
  • Social distancing of at least 6ft or greater will remain in effect
    • If unable to social distance, protective gear – such as face coverings will be worn
  • Facilities will be disinfected by supervising staff members between each session and follow NCSD Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocol for Flu and Virus Outbreaks.  All high-touched areas including all athletic equipment will be disinfected between each cohort/pod session.
  • Hand washing stations, or hand sanitizer, must be readily available in all areas 
  • Students, staff, and necessary school visitors will continue to be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, and access to buildings will continue to be monitored to ensure only approved students, parents/guardians, and staff are allowed to enter the facilities during these times. 

“We miss our students and the joy and excitement of the ‘everyday’ school environment. Thank you to the entire community for your partnership and support as we all anxiously await for the day when we can again hear the hallways filled with laughter and to see the smiling faces of students and staff,” NCSD wrote. “We truly are, #bettertogether.”