Recommendations on opening schools in August released by Missouri School Boards' Association

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 5:36 PM CDT
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Planning a new school year during a pandemic is tough.

"I don't have a crystal ball, we just know that we have to have a variety of contingency plans," said Dr. Laura Nelson, Superintendent of the School of the Osage.

Schools across Missouri remain closed, with students finishing the year remotely.

To get back to a so-called 'sense-of-normalcy' for next school year, the Missouri School Boards's Association issued a 96-page report to superintendents.

The report lists several different ideas to help keep students, parents, and teachers safe.

"That gives us a lot of options," Nelson said of the report.

Those options include things such as limiting class size, eliminating large group assemblies, spacing desks at least six feet apart, and limiting shareable classroom items, like art supplies and pencils.

It also recommends holding class outdoors if possible, and eliminating or restructuring large group classes like gym, choir, and band.

"Are we even going to be able to have those courses? If we do, they may have to be offered in a different way," said Dr. Tim Hadfield, Superintendent of Camdenton R-III School District.

The report suggests schools close down for a few days if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in the building.

The superintendents for the two largest school districts at the Lake of the Ozarks agree, recommending guidelines instead of mandates is the way to move forward.

"I could see it being very different from one school district to the next," Hadfield said of the upcoming academic year.

Both Nelson and Hadfield are optimistic that even though it may not be what students have always been used to, August might look a little more 'normal.'

"We'll just have to wait to see what August brings us, but we're going to plan to have students back on campus, and we're also going to have some back up plans if we're not able to," Hadfield said.

Nelson says her administration will be presenting contingency plans to the school board later this month.


to read the full report from the MSBA.