MONTE VISTA - After months of online school and summer vacation, Sargent prepares its plans for its 2020 Fall Semester. Like schools around the globe they are trying to navigate what education looks like with the COVID-19 pandemic while trying to come up with solutions to return to the classroom as safely as possible.
“We all have feelings and there’s the extreme and everyone in between. We all fall somewhere in that spectrum. But the bottom line is we want to provide the best education in the safest way and so that has to be our guiding force and we all have to give a little and support each other. And so our hope is that we even as a board and administration that we have to have some things that we can agree on,” Sargent’s Superintendent Brian Crowther said at the school’s last board meeting as they discussed proper reopening plans.
Sargent’s 7th- 12th-grade students are scheduled to begin school Aug. 19. Elementary students will start staggered with half of the students starting Aug. 19 and the other half Aug. 20. All students wil begin classes Aug. 24. According to a recent list of highlights from the school’s reopening plan, masks will be required for everyone upon entering the school buildings. Students will also be kept in cohorts throughout the day as much as possible. Once students are in groups, or in their classrooms, masks will become highly recommended.
Screenings of temperature and symptoms will be performed for everyone that enters the building. In addition to the screening at school, the district also hopes parents will help them by alerting them if their child has COVID-19 symptoms. “We’re going to have to rely on parents for help with screening students, with taking temperatures, with reporting any fevers, any incident that has happened over the last day or two or the weekend. We need to know these things but there’s no way we can without parent’s support and input,” said Crowther at the board meeting.
To also help with social distancing, classrooms will be arranged for social distancing of a minimum of 3 feet and 6 feet where it’s possible. Directionality in hallways will also help with distancing during classroom transitions and masks will be worn. Outdoor classrooms will also be encouraged and utilized as a safer environment when and where possible according to the district’s highlights.
There will also be increased sanitation with cleaning and disinfecting between classes of all desks and touchable areas. Meals will be served and eaten in the commons and in some classrooms to help maintain social distancing.
Busses will also be running with masks being worn. Other precautions are yet to be determined. Athletics has also not been clarified by CHSAA at this time.
Sargent will also be offering an online program to anyone not comfortable with face-to-face learning. “We want to work with every parent and every family. They’re important to our district and we want them in our district. And we’ll do the best we can to meet their needs. If they want completely online we’ll provide completely online. If they want to be face-to-face our plan is to provide face-to-face teaching. We’ll do our best to work with them,” Crowther told the board at their last meeting during his report.
According to the district Sargent will work with the County Public Health for closure guidance due to any confirmed COVID cases. All of their reopening plans are also subject to change as conditions merit. As stated in their highlights, “Students and staff safety is of utmost importance.” Parents who have questions or concerns are asked to call the district office or individual school.