One precaution involves including fewer students. Under Butler Tech’s hybrid opening schedule, only half of its 1,700 students will attend in-person classes per school day with the remaining learning from home.
Graft, who has three children attending area public schools, said he knows the stakes are high for even a partial opening during a pandemic.
“The students and staff will be required to wear masks while inside all campus buildings and everyone will practice social distancing. Butler Tech has added additional cleaning staff to ensure that deep cleaning and sanitizing at a level and frequency that helps combat the spread of the virus,” he said.
“Additionally, the hybrid (scheduling) model reduces the number of students on all campuses by 50 percent each day, greatly increasing the ability to successfully social distance and minimizing exposure to students and staff.”
At Butler County’s Madison Schools, teachers are already busy in learning the safety requirements against coronavirus as well as their usual back-to-school professional development.
“Due to COVID-19, this fall may be particularly challenging and unusual for our students and staff,” said Lisa Tuttle-Huff, superintendent of Madison Schools. “We had to learn to plan for a year when there are so many unknowns.”
Madison will open with a staggered start schedule on Monday.
“Madison is planning a schedule where students will learn online one day, and attend the next day to keep numbers low and keep distance between students for the first three weeks of school. This is to make sure that we have all safety measures in place before all students come together,” she said.
Following Butler Tech’s opening of in-person classes today will be the start of the new school year for other public districts in Butler and southern Warren County.
For more details on your local district’s starting class schedules – many of which are alternative days by students’ last names - go to the local school system’s website.
Edgewood: Aug. 31 (by last name)
Fairfield: Aug. 24 (by last name)
Hamilton: Aug. 24 (by last name)
Lakota: Aug. 17 (by last name)
Madison: Aug. 17 (by last name)
Middletown: Aug. 17 all remote learning
Monroe: Aug. 24 (by last name)
New Miami: To be determined by the week of Aug. 17
Ross: Sept. 8 (by last name)
Talawanda: Aug. 24 all remote learning
Kings: Aug. 31 (by last name)
Mason: Aug. 24 (by last name)