NEWS BRIEF: USD 497 releases official hybrid learning plan

The plan staggers students’ return to the classroom, with some starting Oct. 19 and others as late as Nov. 9

Jack Bellemere, Reporter

USD 497 released their official hybrid learning outline Thursday night. 

The plan lays out how high school administrators hope to keep students and teachers safe and maintain a high quality education for Free State students.

According to the plan, students will be divided up into four groups by their last names and will attend in-person school one day per week. Group A will be in-person on Mondays, group B on Tuesdays, group C on Thursdays and group D on Fridays. 

Students will also come back to school in waves. Students who are experiencing internet connectivity issues will start in-person on Oct. 19. Ninth graders and “Identified Vulnerable Student Populations” will return on Oct. 26, and new students in grades 10-12 will begin Nov. 2. All other students will start hybrid on Nov. 9.

The plan features several safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students will receive temperature checks before entering the building. Everyone in the building will also observe 6-feet social distancing and wear masks. Students and staff will have access to sanitizer stations, and there will be reduced transitions between classrooms.

The plan also gives everyone in the building breaks during the day to wash their hands and go outside to remove their masks.

Students who opt out of hybrid learning can pick up free lunch every Wednesday at any school site in the district. Students who do participate in the hybrid learning environment will have a closed-campus lunch to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students must observe social distancing while eating lunch, and on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, students will eat lunch in several waves during 4th period.

On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, zero period will begin at 7 a.m., and 7th period will end at 3:22 p.m. On Wednesday, when every student will be at home, the day will start at 7:20 a.m. and end at 12:58 p.m., with every student eating lunch at the same time.

Emily Zeller