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Back to school roundup: Millard, Westside gearing up for school year

Posted at 12:42 AM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 01:42:16-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Superintendent Dr. Jim Sutfin says Millard Public Schools reached two major milestones, bringing all of its teachers back for training and gearing up for students to return for the first since March come next week.

The district will return to schools at 25 percent capacity next week. Students' return will be staggered by last name with different groups attending on different days for the first week.

Millard Public Schools officials say they're starting out the school year this way so students can safely learn all the new guidelines and procedures.

The district says students and staff must wear masks when they cannot social distance.

Dr. Sutfin says the plan now is to reopen at 100 percent capacity on August 17.

He says in order for the school to stay open everyone, especially parents, must do their part to stop the spread.

The district is offering remote learning at the same time so some online instruction will be live.

A board member says 4,200 students have signed up for the remote learning option.

The district is also asking parents to screen their kids at home for things like temperature, cough, shortness of breath and loss of smell as well as other symptoms.

Westside Community Schools

Westside Community Schools is starting the school year in the yellow status, limiting in-person days by last name.

They hope to phase out of this hybrid model by September 4 with 100 percent of their students back in the building.

Students, staff and parents are going to have to be flexible and patient.

Teachers were finalizing their schedule to teach both in-person and online - and wanted to create that curriculum in a way that allowed it to flow in the case they move to an all remote status.

Although this school year will be a change for all students, teachers focused on the elementary kids at Monday's meeting.

Group A, which is students with the last name A through K, will pick-up their iPads and remote learning materials on August 18 and 19.

Group B, or those with the last name starting with L through Z, will pick up those same items on August 20 or 21.

Elementary students will only be attending two days of in-person learning the first week so parents should plan for no remote learning the first week.

"I would urge people to stay closely tuned because we are basing decisions on recommendation and conditions as they are happening," said Doug Krenzer, Vice President of the Westside Community School Board of Education. "Those decisions follow what's happening in the community from a public health standpoint."

Krenzer says it's imperative to start the year off successfully, and urges parents to ask unanswered questions about that first day of school.

He adds this allows them to get into a good routine for the students and families.

All Westside students and staff will be required to wear a face mask while in their school.

They are also asking parents to screen kids before bringing them to school.