Sandusky Supt. Paul Flynn
School districts throughout the State are scrambling to develop a plan for schools reopening this fall, following direction from State officials earlier this week.
Sandusky Superintendent Paul Flynn says school officials are working to develop a plan that he hopes can be presented by the end of July, detailing how school will look this fall.
School districts are required to have a plan by August 17th, but Flynn said he hopes the plan for Sandusky is in place for presentation by the end of July, or if need be, at a special meeting in early August.
Flynn said a key to the success of in-person, face-to-face classroom instruction is the cooperation and support of parents, admitting things will be different and nothing that anyone has ever seen.
“The biggest thing is for everyone to have some patience,” Flynn cautioned. “None of us have ever been through anything like this and we are learning and discovering on the fly here. Ultimately, in the end, all of us want to do what is in the best interest of our students to educate them the safest, most effective way we can.”
Currently, students in grades 6-12 along with all staff, would be required to wear facial coverings all day, except for lunch.
Flynn is hoping by the time school starts, the State will be in a Phase 5 status, allowing more discretion in the use of masks.
He said he realizes some families may not be happy with how the school day looks, including possible staggered start times, but all decisions are based on whats best for students and staff to provide the safest and best protection from the coronavirus.
The Sandusky Superintendent said meetings have already taken place and will continue to, with maintenance and transportation staff on what it will take to keep all district buildings and buses clean and safe. He anticipates there will be added costs associated with new requirements, but pointed out the district has received $172,000 from the Federal CARES Act to help with additional expenses.
School officials are also working with Chartwell, their providers for school meals, on how lunch will best be served. “We don’t know if that means lunch in the cafeteria or not,” Flynn stated. “It may mean students eat in classrooms, or staggered lunch times. There are a lot of unanswered questions and we need to have meetings to work through these issues. It’s going to be a very busy time between now and when school starts in the fall.”
While mainly being focused on what the classroom will look like this fall, Flynn did let himself look at athletics and how that could look.
“That is totally up in the air and we have no idea what is going to happen. The Governor has suggested some things, like having football in the spring and spring sports in the fall – that creates a lot of questions that all of the districts have no answers for yet.”
Regardless of what is worked out, both in the classroom and on the field of competition, Flynn agreed the upcoming school year will certainly have a different look.