Dear Parents, Students, and Community,
As you know, we have been working and planning for our return to school on August 24th. The Independence Board of Education met at its regular July board meeting and discussed administrative recommendations for its Return-to-Learn Plan. Please know the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff are a top priority.
Senate File 2310 requires that our Return-to-Learn plan provide for in-person instruction and that in-person instruction is the presumed method. Therefore, our plan will offer students two choices:
- Onsite Instruction – Students will return to school on Monday, August 24th for onsite learning. Student schedules, classrooms, and their daily routine may look different as we promote social distancing and other strategies to promote a healthier climate.
- Remote Learning – Families that choose to continue their education from home will have access to educational programming along with instruction/consultation with district staff members. We will ask parents during our online registration (August 1) to let us know if their students will be attending in person or remotely. Please note: learning remotely is not considered “homeschooling,” that is a different program and please contact our office if you have any questions regarding homeschooling options.
We are working with the Buchanan County Public Health and the Department of Education to ensure a safe environment. For the health and safety of all students and staff members, we are implementing several mitigation strategies.
Face masks/coverings will be required for staff and 7-12 students unless a special exception would prohibit the use, when social distancing is not possible (less than 6ft apart for 15 minutes or more). In addition, we are strongly encouraging face coverings for elementary students unless a special exception would prohibit the use, when social distancing is not possible (less than 6ft apart for 15 minutes or more). The district will provide face coverings for students and staff, but students and staff may choose to use their own.
For students who require bus transportation, we will have assigned seating and ask that the bus be filled from back to front to reduce student interactions. Siblings may be asked to sit together to allow for greater occupancy and facial coverings will be required for all those who ride on the bus.
The district is also committed to ensuring the health of our students and staff through daily temperature checks. We are currently looking at the most efficient and economical way of achieving this Board goal. Although it’s not a guarantee, it is one way to help identify any individual and protect our staff and students in the district. Please remember that Federal Law restricts the school district from releasing the names of any student or staff for related reasons.
I know this communication will bring many questions, many of which we are not able to answer today. We will begin working on an FAQ and post it on our website as we continue forward.
Have a Great Day and Stay Safe,
Russell Reiter, Superintendent