RACINE — Southern Local students will be returning to the classroom on Aug. 26, with five days of in-person learning for all students.
While Southern maintained five days of in-person instruction during the 2020-21 school year, there was a remote learning option during that school year. Now, all students will return to the buildings.
“We are looking forward to the start of the 2021-22 school year. As we begin this year, we want to inform parents of key components that we feel need to happen to have a successful year. We are still cautious about the lingering COVID guidelines and the efforts to keep our kids safe,” stated Supt. Tony Deem in a letter to parents.
This year, Southern will not be checking temperatures of students before they enter the building, but is instead asking that parents conduct the temperature checks at home and monitor the health of their children. “If in doubt, please keep them home until symptom-free for 24 hours without the help of medication,” stated Deem.
Southern will continue to practice physical distancing of three feet, maintain intense sanitation of rooms throughout the day, maintain one-way hallways, give students scheduled breaks and serve meals in classrooms for preschool-sixth grade.
“Masks are not required at school, but are recommended. … By law, bussing is mandated to require masking while students ride. Students on the bus must wear a mask to school. There will be mask available on the busses. Please encourage your child to wear a mask while on the close confines of the bus,” stated Deem.
Drop off and dismissal procedures for the school year will be the same as last year. Anyone with questions should contact Elementary Principal Tricia McNickle.
“We will be limiting access to the building to help protect students from unnecessary exposure from the public. Please contact the office if you need to enter the building,” added Deem.
New staff members for the school year include Haley Musser (first grade), Zach Ash (second grade), Alexis Davis (third grade), Chad Dodson (music), Jenna Meeks (Vo Ag) and Ryan Chapman (Director of Operations).
Staff changes include Olivia Hawley (Elementary Guidance), Joy Neal (fourth grade), Wendy Beegle (Intervention), Jenni Roush (TAG), and Autumn Lisle (sixth grade language arts).
All students will be issued Chromebooks for the 2021-22 school year. These devices will follow the students for 4 years. “Please keep track of the Chromebooks, as our plan is to use these devices in case of a shutdown. Schoology will be utilized again this year for make-up work or during a shutdown,” explained Deem.
Open house for the 2021-22 school year will take place from 4-7 p.m. on Aug. 25, with the first day of school on Aug. 26.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.