Virus at forefront as schools return to learn

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BUTLER, Ind. (WANE) — Many Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio students are heading back to classes this week. At the forefront of educator and parent’s minds are how to safely educate kids amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.

DeKalb Eastern Schools returns to class Tuesday. Superintendent Jeffrey Stephens said he’s feeling “apprehensive.”

“For all of us, this is like the first day of our career,” he said. “It is that different from what we’re used to and it is just challenging. It’s just an entirely new environment for all of us.”

His district has been planning for four months.

The current plan is to deep clean and sanitize classrooms every day and to clean buses after every route. Water fountains will be off limits from drinking directly out of. Students will be assigned water bottles that they can fill.

All students are required to wear masks on the bus, but only grades three through twelve have to during the school day. Students will be assigned three masks – a green one, a black one, and a gray one – that they’ll be rotating every three days with the schools washing each one after a day of use.

Stephens reports about 15% of students will be learning remotely.

Huntington County Community School Corporation starts class on Wednesday. Superintendent Chad Daugherty is asking families for grace as they venture into these uncharted waters.

“I’m sure there’s going to be some curve balls thrown at us,” he said. “We’ve done everything we can to prepare for this, but I don’t think anyone’s ever been prepared to handle a pandemic.”

Both superintendents will use the heavy guidance of their county health departments with matters of contact tracing and isolation in the case that a student is diagnosed positive for coronavirus.

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