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Schools develop screening plans for in-person learning

Posted at 5:37 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 17:41:11-04

LANSING, MI (WSYM) - — Not all mid-Michigan schools are opting for virtual learning. In fact, some districts are giving parents a choice between learning from home or in the classroom.

Eaton Rapids is one of the schools offering the choice for in-person learning. Superintendent Bill DeFrance said he believes around 80% of students will learn in-person this year and it’s a risk they need to be aware of.

“Given the health climate, it’s difficult for me to see how we can get all of the kids back safely and keep them healthy,” DeFrance said.

He said students who choose to learn in person will be required to be screened before entering the building in addition to practicing social distancing and wearing a mask.

“We can’t accommodate 80% back with the social distancing of 6 feet unless we split the kid into two groups,” DeFrance said.

He said the school district is working with the Barry-Eaton District Health Department to figure out the best ways to return to learn. DeFrance said they’ve spent time in the buildings with health experts.

“We’ve identified where we’re going to have Isolation rooms where we can take care of kids that may feel like they’re sick during the day,” DeFrance said.

If that sick student tests positive for the coronavirus, DeFrance said they’ll work with the health department for contact tracing.

“We use some of our office staff by building to be able to figure out who the student or staff member has been in contact with during whatever period they’ve set up,” DeFrance said.

Once the contact tracing is taken care of, schools will let parents and staff know if they need to be tested for COVID-19.

Some of the schools offering in-person learning are in Eaton County, they’re following the Barry-Eaton District Health Department’s return to school tool kit. You can find more information on the tool kit here.