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Millard Public School students to return to in-person classes in the fall

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Posted at 8:44 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 23:19:44-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Millard Public Schools announced their plans for students to return to school on Tuesday.

In a letter to families, Superintendent Jim Sutfin said they intend to open their buildings for fall as planned on Monday, August 10 for all students.

The school district will work with state and local officials in preparation for reopening.

Parents will be asked to screen their students for temperature and other symptoms and be in communication with their school about students who feel ill.

Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be distributed among the schools. Additionally, cleaning protocols have been updated.

Two masks will be supplied for each student and staff member in the school district. At the moment, Millard Public Schools are recommending the use of masks for staff and students but add that safety protocols will be finalized in August.

See the full letter below.

Dear Millard Families,

I am writing to update you about our return to school, and I am very glad to share that we intend to open our buildings for fall as planned on Monday, August 10th, for all students, every day. In order to do this, we are going to need a strong partnership between school and home.

While we are very excited to welcome everyone back, we understand fully this will not be a return to normal. The education of our students is our primary mission and the safe operation of our schools and safety of our students is our primary concern in fulfilling that mission. As we have throughout the pandemic, we look to our state and local health officials, and we have been working very closely with them in our preparations for reopening this fall. They are the medical experts. We are layering in multiple safety protocols to protect the health of our students and staff and to keep our buildings open. We know the best educational option for all our students is to be in our schools with our teachers.

If we are advised to change course, or if new Directed Health Measures are issued, we will adjust. There is always the chance that we may have to resume remote learning again, but for now, we are very thankful that we can work towards welcoming students back to our buildings.

Parents will be asked to screen their students for temperature and other symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and not feeling well. Close communication with the school will be important as we do not want children who are feeling ill to attend. The district may also implement random screenings of students as they enter the building.

Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer are ordered and will be distributed among the schools. Cleaning protocols have been updated, and we have received two masks for each of our students and staff members. We understand there are many feelings, both pro and con, about face coverings.

While we do not know for certain what things will look like in August with respect to face coverings, currently the health department is recommending and encouraging their use. As of today, there is no Directed Health Measure from the State or County Health Departments that requires either social distancing or the wearing of masks. However, both the State and County Health Departments have issued a strong recommendation that both be employed where and when feasible.

If school were to start today, this is the recommendation our staff would follow, and we would ask and expect that our students do the same. As has been the case throughout COVID-19, things change. We will not know until later this summer exactly what the health department recommendation will be, or whether we will be under a required Directed Health Measure. We will finalize our safety protocols in August, prior to the start of school.

Your help is needed as we prepare for a full opening. How you as parents help us prepare our students will be important. We understand that there will be individual situations and circumstances, and we will work with those families to address those situations. Our goal is not only to open schools, but to keep them open. To do that, we have to all work together.

There has never been a more important time than now to create community in our schools. We can’t do this without your help, and each one of us knows that the best thing we can do to educate our students is for them to be in school every day working with their teachers. If you have any comment you would like to add, you may do so by clicking here.

We know this has and continues to be a very difficult time. We will continue to work with our health professionals and monitor the current situation. We will continue to communicate with you in the future as we prepare for opening on August 10th.

Regards,

Jim Sutfin

Jim Sutfin, Ed.D.

Superintendent