School to start as scheduled
When the CCS board of education met for their regular meeting Tuesday, COVID-19 was a common theme.
CCS administrators have been meeting this summer about what the fall will look like, but the plan for now is that the 2020-21 school year will begin as scheduled with students’ first day on Aug. 19.
Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) and other departments across the state have released a document outlining operational zones for severity of COVID-19 cases in their districts.
“We’re in a yellow right now,” Supt. Adam Lambert said, “or what we consider normal for now. The reason is according to health department is they’re saying we’ll never get to green unless we get a vaccine.”
The different zones include: green (low risk), Yellow (moderate risk), Orange (high risk), Red (severe risk).
“So that’s kind of our guideline is how severe of actions we need to take,” Lambert added.
For the current code yellow situation, that means masks in areas where proper social distancing isn’t an option, like buses, hallways and the cafeteria.
“Right now our goal is to keep kids in school,” Lambert said.
Costs associated with COVID pose a problem.
“Clorox wipes are expensive,” Activities Director Troy Hauxwell said in his report.
During discussion on giving Supt. Lambert authority to purchase COVID-related items without board approval—not to exceed $64,000—Lambert mentioned the different costs of masks.
“I looked up disposable masks for all the kids and staff for 180 days and that pretty much blew through the $64,000 right there,” Lambert said.
One discussion brought up by community member Miles Colson was a contingency plan in the event a case is reported at the school.
While the plan is to keep students—especially younger ones—in school, Lambert said distance learning, if need be, will be better monitored than in the spring.
“The majority of the public schools (in Nebraska) have signed up for” Canvas, he said.
Canvas is an online learning platform that “most of your colleges use,” Lambert said. “It’s basically the quickest way to go to an online type of learning.”
The board agreed to refer the re-opening resolution to a committee of board members, teachers and community members to further discuss COVID safety concerns.
The committee is planning to meet within the next two weeks.