While the Janesville School District won’t decide until next month how to conduct school in the fall, district officials on Tuesday provided a look at possible day-to-day operations if students return to school buildings.
Director of Pupil Services Kim Peerenboom and Director of Benefits Administration and Wellness Tina Johnson shared those plans during Tuesday’s school board meeting. The board is expected to decide at its meeting July 14 whether school will be held in person, online or using a mix of the two.
Johnson said the district has been planning as if all students will be back in person next fall. This allows the district to be as prepared as possible regardless of what model the school board picks, she said.
“I think we firmly believe that if we plan for everybody in, we can dial back from there what needs to happen as far as a blended model or a virtual model,” she said.
Peerenboom said a pandemic plan with procedures that cover the spectrum of back-to-school scenarios is in the works. The plan will allow administrators to have outlined plans in place should a coronavirus outbreak emerge in the schools.
The plan would have students and staff go through a health checklist before heading to school each day. Those with symptoms such as a fever or sore throat would stay home until symptoms go away or a doctor clears them, Peerenboom said.
Other aspects of the plan include implementing regular hygiene practices such as washing hands for all students. Additional hand sanitizer dispensers were purchased and will be placed throughout all school buildings.
The custodial manager for the school district will be in buildings frequently to ensure custodians are following proper cleaning procedures and that cleaning is happening as frequently as expected. The CDC recommends one thorough cleaning a day for schools, which includes wiping down high-touch areas and limiting community supplies, Peerenboom said.
Each building will likely have two areas for student health visits—a wellness room for medications or injury treatment and a separate “contagious” room for students with such symptoms as vomiting, sore throat or fever.
The district also hopes to have first aid kits available to all teachers to reduce nurse’s office traffic. Teachers will likely need to call the nurse’s office to ask about availability before sending a student.
The district is continuing to plan for other specific aspects of the school day such as food service and transportation ahead of the July 14 meeting where the board will decide how to proceed.
Superintendent Steve Pophal said at Tuesday’s meeting he believes the ideas Peerenboom and Johnson shared will be important when school resumes this fall.
“I have great confidence in the work they’re doing to set us up to be successful and to be responsive to whatever it is that awaits for us in the coming months ahead in terms of what school looks like,” Pophal said.
He also said the plans will give principals and other building leaders the ability to consistently carry out the safe administration of in-person schooling, if that turns out to be part of the back-to-school plan the school board chooses.