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Guidance for reopening K-12 schools

Flexibility will be required for educators as they plan to reopen school buildings in the fall amid an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Doug Burgum announced Tuesday during his regular briefing.

Burgum and Supt. of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler said they hope that a state-wide shutdown of schools will not be required this year.

Instead, decisions will be made locally by each school board based upon the conditions in their area. Towns that have a higher number of cases of the virus might need to take more stringent measures than those that have lower numbers.

Local boards, working in close collaboration with local public health units, will decide whether education will be face-to-face, online or a combination of the two, depending on local conditions.

Burgum said districts may have to consider how to use space in different ways and how to avoid having students meeting in crowded hallways between classes or eating lunch in a crowded cafeteria.

School boards must have an approved health and safety plan for each school building and an approved distance learning plan on file that might be used for some students in the district at some point during the school year.

Plans must be published on each school district’s website, said Baesler.

More information will be available online at ndresponse.gov.

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