A school superintendent in the county will be online each day until the start of school to answer parents' questions about the 2020-21 school year in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
David Foley, superintendent at the South Butler County School District, notified parents last week in a letter that he will hold daily sessions on Google Meet to answer parents' questions and discuss their concerns.
The meetings will be held at 11 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The first meeting was Monday. Parents can access the meetings on the district's website.
Foley also apprised parents that more than 1,500 families completed the district's Enrollment Declaration Survey.
The survey revealed that more than 85 percent of respondents are in favor of sending their students back to school five days per week, while 15 percent have chosen to complete coursework remotely.
Foley said when both remote and in-person instruction begins Aug. 31, all students attending classes in the district's school buildings as well as all adults will be required to wear a mask or shield per state requirements, unless they have a documented medical reason for not wearing a face covering.
Regarding social distancing, Foley said recent health reports state that individuals wearing a face covering can be closer together than the currently advised 6 feet.
“The district is working to create conditions where 6 feet between our students is possible. However, in many of our classrooms, this may not be a possibility,” Foley said. “Therefore, masks must always be worn while in school and on our buses.”
Foley is asking parents to drive their students to school if possible, even though the normal bus schedule will be in effect, as social distancing on the school bus is impossible.
Regarding ill students or staff members, Foley said the district will communicate any confirmed cases of COVID-19 to students, parents and employees of the district.
He said the state's Department of Health is responsible for contact tracing, and the district will cooperate with the department during the pandemic and contact the department with any questions or concerns.
“The Department of Health will share insight regarding the need for quarantining with instructions related to how best for our district to proceed,” Foley advised parents.
He added that certain teachers will conduct remote learning exclusively as the district is not set up to livestream classroom lessons.
“I have appreciated your patience throughout the last five months,” Foley told parents in his letter. “We need your ongoing cooperation to have a successful school year.”