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Warren Local sets guidelines for fall re-entry

The Warren Local Board of Education set guidelines for reopening schools during its meeting Monday evening.

The school year for Warren High and Warren Middle schools will start Aug. 27. The elementary school year will start Sept. 21, due to the construction of the new school.

Superintendent Kyle Newton said the number of hours the elementary students go to school is less than for the middle and high school students, so they will not have to make up any lost time. He said the elementary school staff will still be working during that extra time period.

They also discussed how the strictest restrictions given by the health department are what they have to follow.

“The restrictions are based on the COVID system of risk,” Newton said, adding there are five health principles they will follow. The principles are assessing for symptoms, washing and sanitizing hands, cleaning and sanitizing facilities, proper social distancing, and wearing face masks.

Instruction will be based on the four risk levels. When the county is under level 1 or level 2 risk, which are yellow and orange, in-person instruction will take place. During red level, level 3, there will be blended learning, and with level 4, or purple, there will be remote learning.

Newton said if the county went to red, school buses would go from two students per seat to one, which is a big change for the district. In the event of the red level, there would be blended learning for K-8 and remote learning for the high school.

Three days prior to school starting, parents and students will have the ability to view videos of what is changing that they will need to know. Newton said the fall newsletter, which will come out at the end of the week will be full of information.

“I’ve never seen so much information in a newsletter before,” he added.

In other board news:

Mike McCutcheon of Barlow Township strongly suggested to the board that they postpone the start of school until mid-September. He said there would be better compliance with wearing masks if they started later.

Board President Bob Crum said the board was looking at things day-to-day and they had some of the same thoughts and concerns.

The construction of the high school is 2 to 4 weeks ahead of schedule. The board took a tour of the elementary school Monday afternoon. Newton said the biggest part of the elementary school was finished at the second story and toward the front of the school is less done.

Work is being done this week on the playgrounds and the school district’s website, warrenlocal.org, is updated with photos of the construction.

A question was raised about rumors regarding putting off open enrollment so there will be fewer numbers.

Newton said if there is open enrolling and the child has a sibling already enrolled, “you’re safe.” If the new student is open enrolling at the elementary school and they are not in the second grade, there’s a good chance they might not get in, except for those in kindergarten. Classes are big at the middle school, so enrolling for those grades are first come, first served. They are taking any open enrolled students at the high school.

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At a glance:

School year for elementary students will start Sept. 21. High school and middle school will start Aug. 27.

Construction of new high school is 2 to 4 weeks ahead of schedule.

Videos of instructions for parents and students will be available three days prior to start of school.

Source: Warren Local School District.

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