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Draft plan for reopening Minot schools to be released Monday

A draft plan for the start of classes later this month will be released to the public on Monday afternoon, Minot Public Schools Assistant Supt. Kim Slotsve said Friday.

Slotsve said times and dates for planned virtual meetings next week with Supt. Mark Vollmer will also be announced on Monday, along with a date for a special school board meeting.

Earlier this week, Slotsve released the results of a survey of parents and teachers in the school district that indicated the majority want their children to return to school in a face-to-face classroom setting. Other options being considered by a committee are a hybid combination of face-to-face and distance learning and exclusive distance learning.

School buildings were closed and classes were offered entirely online beginning in March due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A committee that is drafting the plan is also considering what safety measures might be taken, such as frequent cleaning, face masks or face shields, frequent handwashing and social distancing.

Schools in the state are all creating their own plans or reopening. Each must create a plan for instruction that must follow state guidelines for the North Dakota K-12 Smart Restart, be approved by the local school board, and published on the district’s website and filed with the State Department of Public Instruction.

Nedrose, for instance, has announced on its website that face-to-face classes will resume this fall with appropriate precautions if the risk level in the area is at “green.” Faculty, staff, and students will be required to wear masks or face shields in school and on the bus. Wearing masks won’t be feasible at recess or during physical education classes or when eating lunch and social distancing will be encouraged as much as possible.

A hybrid model of learning would be instituted if the risk factor increases to yellow, including grouping students into two groups that would alternate between distance learning and in-school learning.

If the risk factor is at red, schools would be closed and classes held entirely online.

The entire plan is on Nedrose’s district website.

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