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Lake County schools roll out back-to-school plans

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LAKE COUNTY – With just a tad under two weeks of summer vacation remaining, school districts within Lake County released their COVID-19 pandemic reopening plans for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year. 

For the Arlee School District, school begins on Monday, Aug. 24. Arlee’s back-to-school plan uses a four-tiered system that is based on the level of coronavirus spread in the community. Grades K-6 will attend school Monday through Thursday for direct in-person instruction with class schedules designed to limit large gatherings in the library, gym, lunch area and the playground. Grades seven through 12 will be using a block schedule, which provides four classes a day. Block scheduling reduces the frequency of movement and limits contact to people by reducing classes from seven different periods during a given day to four. 

The St. Ignatius School District will start the school year in person on Wednesday, Aug. 26. School board members also adopted the governor’s four-tiered back-to-school plan that is based on the level of coronavirus spread within the community.

On Friday, Charlo School District board members approved a re-opening plan that has students returning to class on Wednesday, Aug. 26, under a four-tiered back-to-school plan similar to the plans adopted by the Arlee and St. Ignatius school districts.

The Ronan School District board members will vote this week on finalizing their district’s re-entry plan.

Currently, classes are tentatively scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Aug. 26.  

Two Eagle River School has decided to begin the school year with online learning on Thursday, Aug. 20, until at least Sept. 20. The students may return to on-campus learning on Monday, Sept. 21, under an A/B hybrid system of two days of in-class learning and two days of remote learning per week.

Polson School District will offer families two learning options: an online option or an A/B hybrid in-person option starting on Wednesday, Aug. 26. According to the district’s website, the hybrid model will be used to allow for smaller class sizes. In the hybrid plan, students with the last name starting with A-K will attend in-class instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays, while students with last names starting with L-Z will have in-person learning on Wednesdays and Thursdays. All students will be learning remotely on days not scheduled for on-campus instruction. 

Local school administrators remind the students and guardians to keep in mind that these plans are subject to change. Discussions are ongoing with various local health departments, superintendents and educational leaders throughout the state for the best practices for opening schools in a manner that is safe for students and staff.

A more detailed and in-depth look at your school’s back-to-school reopening policy can be found on each school’s website.

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