Westside Community Schools discuss their "Pandemic Plan"

Posted at 2:58 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 15:58:57-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Westside Community Schools is set to welcome all students back on August 18th but with it comes lots of changes. Thursday night school administrators explained those plans in more detail.

Change was one of the biggest messages during the forum at Westside High School. The “Pandemic Plan” outlines how school will look in a little more than a month.

One of the biggest changes people should expect to see is students and staff will have to wear a mask

“Our school board is listening to the best medical advice in the world which is right here in Omaha, Nebraska and they’re telling us that masks make a difference,” said Superintendent Mike Lucas.

Lucas says masks will be required unless students have a documented medical or developmental issue. If a student doesn’t wear a mask, it will result in disciplinary consequences.

“Safety of our students and staff is primary objective,” said Lucas.

Social distancing will be practiced when possible, but Lucas admits there will be challenges.

“We feel very good about getting three to four feet 100% of the time, but we cannot guarantee six feet that’s why masks are required,” said Lucas.

Not only will students look different this year, so will the classrooms.

“A lot of the great amazing bookshelves and some of the supplemental type things won’t be in our classrooms so we can have as much social distancing as possible,” said Lucas.

Lucas says he’s aware not everyone will agree with these changes but says these adjustments are the path to get kids back in the classroom.

“We wish we could wave our magic wands and make everybody happy but we can’t. It doesn’t mean that we’re not trying. It doesn’t mean that we don’t value every students opinion, every staff’s opinion, all those kinds of things. We just can’t make everyone happy,” said Lucas.

For some families physically being at school may still be a concern, whether for medical reasons or fear because of COVID-19. So, they can continue extended campus learning for the school year at home. Families must complete paperwork to register for that option. The deadline for that is July 23rd. Contact the school district for more information.

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