When: Warwick school board meeting, July 7.
What happened: The board approved the Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan and the Athletics Health and Safety Plan as it seeks to get students back into brick-and-mortar classrooms for the 2020-21 school year after classes were shifted online in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background: The Pennsylvania Department of Education has required that school districts across the state put together a comprehensive school reopening plan. Plans are to be tailored to the unique needs of each school and be created in consulatation with local health agencies. They also are to be flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions.
The plan: From teaching and classroom instruction to transportation and food service, the school reopening plan addresses the ways that the district can best protect the health and safety of students, teachers, administration and staff. The district will implement proper social distancing and other safety protocols. Students will be encouraged to wash hands frequently, to not touch their faces and to cough into their elbows. The district will work with parents to provide transportation when possible to minimize the number of students on district-provided transportation. And based on new state regulations, the plan requires that students, teachers, administrators and staff must wear masks. The original plan only recommended face coverings.
Quotable: “It has been very challenging,” Superintendent April Hershey said. “Three hours after we thought we had a plan in place last week, the new mask requirement came out (by the state), and we had to make adjustments.”
Athletics plan: The Athletics Health and Safety Plan provides guidelines for athletics throughout the district, including training and practice schedules; cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting and ventilation of locker rooms, restrooms and other facilities; and mangement of sports equipment.
Online: Both the Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan and the Athletics Health and Safety Plan are available on the district’s website at warwicksd.org under COVID-19 News Update Center.